I was presenting a selection of ten Rhone wines at the NatWest Bank Wine Society last night in central London. I will post notes later but at the start of it, one of the the members came up to me to thank me for some tips I had given a couple of years earlier (I don't remember but I'm happy to take the credit!). Best of all was: when you want to open a bottle of really good wine, don't do so at a dinner party where most people won't appreciate it. Better to save it for an occasion where there are just two of you, the other one preferably teetotal.
The moratorium is over. Decanter’s December issue has been published and I can announce our successes in the recent tasting undertaken by their Rhône expert, Matt Walls who has recently returned from a year and a half in the region. If you look on Decanter.com today (November 2020), you will see a link to ‘Top Côtes du Rhône wines under £20’. What the article doesn’t tell you is that the brief of its writer was to taste and rate wines from across the valley in that price range and that the top scoring white wine was actually a Ventoux. No prizes for guessing that it was Château Juvenal’s 2019 ‘Ribes de Vallat’ Blanc , awarded 91 points, which, at £12.60 is also the best value of any of the white wines on the list: 'From 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on granite south-facing slopes; half of the wine is matured for six months in demi-muid leaving no overt oakiness to the aromatics. Full-bodied, rich and opulent style, very ripe and fulsome. Some mango and pineapple juice. Unmist