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Rhône 2011 - Parker Reviews & Top Wines

Reviewed by Robert Parker in the Wine Advocate: December 2012
For a guide to Parker's recommended wines, see the lists below.
Northern Rhône - 2010 rivals 2009 as a great vintage, and 2011 may turn out to be a modern day clone of 1991

As in 1989, 1990 and 1991, the Northern Rhône has had a trifecta of top vintages in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The 2009s and 2010s will dominate the cellars of connoisseurs and much of wine-speak over the next two decades, but consumers should not lose sight of 2011. While that vintage does not possess the opulence and flamboyance of 2009 nor the power, structure and minerality of 2010, 2011 has impressive balance, wonderful charm, and will be more approachable and drinkable at an earlier age. Moreover, prices are stable in this region.

Southern Rhône - 2011 is a consumer friendly, good vintage

The southern Rhône’s remarkable succession of top vintages and good fortune dates back to the 1998 vintage. The great years include the 1998s, some 2001s, some 2003s, many 2005s, some 2006s and the two greatest vintages I have ever tasted in thirty-three years of visiting the region, 2007 and 2010. Not to be forgotten is 2009, which is on a much faster evolutionary track than either 2007 or 2010.

More recently are the 2011s. These wines have nowhere near the density or power of either 2010 or 2007. Nor is 2011 as consistently excellent as the 2009s, 2006s or 2005s. Nevertheless, they are charming, fruit-forward, front end-loaded, soft, round wines that are surprisingly high in alcohol as well as consumer friendly. From the good estates, they can also be very seductive...these wines will please consumers. Given their fruit-forward characteristics, they should be consumed in their first 5-10 years of life.

 2010 is a great vintage that is extremely close in quality to 2007. The wines are not as exuberant, flamboyant or unctuously textured as the top 2007s, but they have the advantage of being slightly more delineated/focused with greater freshness... Moreover, the greatness of the 2010 vintage has been widely recognized throughout the world, so the wines are being gobbled up at almost unprecedented rapidity. Because of this, the 2011s should have a place in consumers’ purchasing plans. In short, the entire Southern Rhône remains France’s most diverse and rewarding treasure trove of both value and greatness to wine consumers.

Top Northern red wines
Wine Score
Ermitage Rouge, Le Pavillon, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires 97-100
Ermitage Rouge, l'Ermite, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires 95-98
Ermitage, Le Méal, Domaine Ferraton 95-97
Cornas, Granit 60, Domaine Vincent Paris 95-97
Cornas, Domaine du Tunnel 93-95+
Cornas, Les Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Alain Voge 94-96
Crozes-Ermitage, Les Varonniers, Michel Chapoutier 93-95
St Joseph Rouge, Les Granits, Michel Chapoutier 92-95

Top Northern white wines
Wine Score
Ermitage Blanc, Cuvée de L'Orée, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires 100
Ermitage Blanc, Le Méal, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires 99
Ermitage Blanc, l'Ermite, Chapoutier Sélections Parcellaires 98+
Ermitage Blanc, Le Reverdy, Domaine Ferraton 95-98
St Joseph Blanc, Les Granits, Michel Chapoutier 96
Condrieu, Les Veilles Vignes de Jacques Vernay, Domaine Ogier 96
Condrieu, Cuvée de Chéry, Domaine Robert et Rémi Niero 95
Hermitage Blanc, Chante Alouette, Maison Chapoutier 95
Condrieu, La Doriane, Maison Guigal 94
Condrieu, Les Ravines, Domaine Robert et Rémi Niero 93

Top Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wines
Wine Score
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Les Grenaches de Pierre, Domaine Giraud 93-96
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de la Janasse 93-95
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Le Secret des Sabon, Domaine Roger Sabon 92-94
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Prestige Domaine Roger Sabon 91-93

Top Châteauneuf-du-Pape white wines
Wine Score
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Roussanne, Vieilles Vignes, Ch. de Beaucastel 98
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Clos des Papes, Paul Avril et Fils 92
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Château La Nerthe 92
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Pure Roussanne Domaine Raymond Usseglio 92
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Ch. de Beaucastel 92

Rhône 2011 En Primeur - Reports & Recommendations