The wine tasting group that meets at the Brewer's Tap in Lakenheath asked me to conduct an impromptu tasting last night so a quick round up of some of the less expensive Rhone wines seemed in order. The Domaine des Anges rose was appropriate for the warm summer evening but, for me, the wines of the night were Domaine de la Charite's 2009 Cotes du Rhone, fresh and sweet-fruited with an easy structure that offers much in the way of versatility. The other stand-out wine for me was Domaine Grand Veneur's 2007 CDR Villages "Champauvins" which, for the first time, really did come across as a mini-Chateauneuf rather than a top CDR with potential. Perhaps it was tasting it alongside the various other wines but I was very impressed with this one.
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