For some reason it has taken much longer than usual to organise the various collections but, except for Domaines Grand Veneur and Coteaux des Travers, the 2009s are now in stock (and a handful of 2010s). The big question is what to crack open first! Tonight I am out to a barbecue so I will take a bottle or two from my own stocks to celebrate: perhaps Cristia's Cotes du Rhone "Garrigues" and Stef Usseglio's Cotes du Rhone.
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