A Northern Rhône blend is a wine made from grapes grown in the northern part of the Rhône Valley in France. This region is known for producing some of the world’s most acclaimed and distinctive wines.
The red blends typically revolve around the Syrah (Shiraz) grape. These wines are known for their deep colour, complex aromas of dark fruits, black pepper, floral notes, and a firm tannic structure. The most famous appellations for these wines include Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, and Cornas. Côte-Rôtie often incorporates a small percentage of Viognier, adding floral and aromatic elements to the wine.
In the Northern Rhône, Viognier is the primary white grape variety. Viognier-based wines from appellations like Condrieu are highly aromatic, with flavours of stone fruits, floral notes and sometimes a hint of spice. These wines are often full-bodied and have a luxurious texture.
A unique characteristic of some Northern Rhône red wines is the co-fermentation of Syrah and Viognier grapes. This process involves fermenting the two grape varieties, resulting in wines seamlessly integrating Viognier’s aromatic qualities with Syrah’s structure and depth.
Northern Rhône blends are celebrated for their elegance, complexity, and terroir-driven characteristics. They are considered some of the finest examples of varietal wines produced in France and are highly sought after by wine enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.