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With the exception of the wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet virtually all Rhône Valley whites are made from blends.
In the north, the white wines of Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and St-Péray are produced from blends of Marsanne and Roussanne. Generally Marsanne is the dominant partner and it lends colour, body and weight to the blend, as well as richly scented fruit. Roussanne, a notoriously low yielder and pernickety to grow, produces intensely aromatic wines which contribute bouquet, delicacy and finesse to the blend.
Until about 15 years ago there was very little interest in southern Rhône whites as it was widely believed that the combination of dull non aromatic grapes and the baking summer heat meant quality wine production was nigh impossible. Since then the quality has improved markedly through the introduction of cool fermentation techniques and increased plantings of northern Rhône white grapes.
The base of many blends is still Grenache Blanc, a widely planted variety producing fresh wines with apple-like fruits, often with hints of aniseed. Ugni Blanc is still found in many blends, as is Clairette though their general lack of character and definition has led to a reduction in plantings. The future for southern Rhône whites appears to lie with Roussanne, Marsanne, and, increasingly, Viognier.
Wines sold "In Bond" (including BBX) or “En Primeur” are not available for immediate delivery and storage charges may apply.
Duty and VAT must be paid separately before delivery can take place.
Bottle 6 x 75cl
Magnum 3 x 150cl
Having received great accolades for his 2009 s of both colours, Stéphane Usseglio is continuing the good work in 2010. The blend of the white is 45% Grenache Blanc and then equal measures of Bourboulenc, Clairette and Roussanne. Each grape does its job perfectly and when assembled after a sojourn in large oak has integrity, harmony and extremely impressive length. Notes of pear-skin and pink grapefruit cede to an elegant palate with a textured nougat mouth-feel, a fine undertow of citric acidity and a gentle toasty attack. (Simon Field MW, BBR Buyer)
The likeable Stéphane Usseglio appears to have made it! The high Parker point, with a provisional triple figure assessment for his Imperial has found physical resonance in a very smart new installation in the heart of the village and a new sense of self-confidence in the man. It must have been difficult seeing the other branch of this distinctively named family doing so well; now the tide is turning and he is the one to watch!
Bottle 12 x 75cl
Beaucastel occupies an almost homogenous 100 hectare plot in the north-east zone of the appellation, the zone which is perhaps the most resistant to rapid climate change as it is the most exposed to the Mistral and has a great number of the famous pudding stones, with their capacity to regulate excess temperature over the course of a day and a night. The reputation of the property continues to climb, its stewardship now secure in the hands of the next generation of Perrins. One of whom, the affable yet very industrious Marc, maintains that he has not seen a vintage better than 2010. For him the nearest comparisons are 1978 and 1962, the latter of which he will not have encountered personally, merely though the enviable library stock held at the property.
Bottle 6 x 75cl