Today sees the release of Decanter's August edition with the publication of the results of its Southern Rhone Whites tasting. We have a whopping seven wines in the line-up! As the notes show, Viognier is very much back in vogue.
Chateau Juvenal, Ventoux 2015 'Ribes de Vallat'
Another scoop for Juvenal, following its recent Wine of the Week (for the 2016) on jancisrobinson.com, now recognition for the 2015 - there's very little left but at least the follow-on comes highly recommended! The Juvenal Blanc is a blend of Clairette and Viognier.
'Calls to mind summer Mediterranean meadows and freshly mown grass. Peach, apricot and mango fruits dominate the palate, complemented by a rich, oily texture' (90/100, 13.5% ABV)
Domaine Brusset, Cairanne 2015 'Esprit de Papet'
One of two whites from Laurent Brusset and, if that's not enough, his 2015 Cairanne 'Chabriles' also scooped a Platinum Trophy for Best Value Rhone Red in the Decanter World Wine Awards. This first white is dominated by Roussanne and Viognier.
'An unashamedly hedonistic wine, this is fulsome and honeyed with patisserie-lie character. There's an extra layer of refined, smoky fruits and a fresh, citric finish, leaving the palate cleansed' (90/100, 14% ABV)
Xavier Vignon, Cotes du Rhone 2015
Usually better known for his full-bodied reds, Xavier's Grenache/Viognier blend is also rather good!
'Attractive apricot and peach flavours in the mouth. It's certainly not the most elegant; however, a lovely wine with food, matching with andouillette served with lentils and caramelised onions' (90/100, 14% ABV)
Domaine Brusset, Cairanne 2016 'Travers'
The regular (and lower-priced) white from this estate is a slightly more traditional blend but, as above, with a twist of Viognier.
'This wine has lots of orchard fruits, elderflower and limes. The palate is reminiscent of fresh bread dough, with a lifting mineral edge' (89/100, 13%)
Domaine des Anges, Ventoux 2014
'Opening with lime blossom, pear and almond on the nose, there's a soft, fruity palate with mellow acidity, mango fruit and good length' (86/100, 13.5%)
Also commended: Christophe Coste, Cotes du Rhone 2014 'Dame Blanche' and fair: Raymond Usseglio, Cotes du Rhone 2014