Rhône's hidden gems

Beyond the headline appellations of the Rhône is a hidden world of treasures, from emerging regions where ambitious growers are making compelling wines from the region's classic varieties, to those that use rare and exciting varieties in innovative ways.

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2019 Côtes du Rhône Lieu-Dit Clavin Blanc, Domaine de la Vieille Julienne

Dry | White | Still | 13.5%

Beautiful fragrance and elegance on this stunning southern white. There’s texture and restraint here, and a finish that just makes you want to have another glass.

Ready: 2021 - 2025

2019 Gigondas, Domaine du Clos des Tourelles

Dry | Red | Still

Domaine du Clos des Tourelles is owned by the Perrin familly of Ch de Beaucastel, and this Gigondas is made by the same brilliant winemaking team as their Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It comes from old Grenache vines planted in the heart of the village. It has gorgeously sweet, poised red fruits on the nose - confit strawberries, cranberries, and wild garrigue hebs. The palate is seamless and silken, A small dash of Syrah in the blend adds a light structural frame. This is a wonderful wine that will drink well from early on.

Young: 2022 - 2032

2015 Ventoux, Clos de Trias, Côtes du Ventoux

Dry | Red | Still

We’ve watched the 2015 Ventoux Rouge develop in tank ever since just after the 2015 harvest, and it’s fair to say that this has really blossomed. On the nose, notes of wild violets and a core of juicy fruit, while there’s incredibly refined tannins and a very long, mineral finish. This is a beautifully judged red from Even Bakke: an absolute bargain from a benchmark of the Ventoux.

Ready: 2021 - 2030

2017 La Source, Saint Jean du Barroux, Ventoux

Dry | Red | Still

There’s a lovely precision to the 2017 La Source from Philippe. Glossy fruit and a lovely herbal notes give way to a lightly grippy palate, with excellent palate weight. Lovely.

Ready: 2021 - 2025

2019 Gigondas, Domaine la Bouïssière

Dry | Red | Still

The classic blend is the priority of the domaine. It comes from the first vineyards planted by Thierry’s father in the 1960s, and in 2019 it has an aromatic intensity that is peppered with the scent of wild strawberries and dried herbs. A rich, sun-drenched palate gives it meaningful weight and length.

Young: 2022 - 2032

2014 Les Bulles d'Alain, Alain Voge, Saint-Péray

Dry | White | Sparkling

Saint-Péray was once famed for the quality of its sparkling wines, and this shows why. This is lively, but with wonderful palate weight, too. A simply delicious fizz.

Ready: 2020 - 2024

2019 Vin de France, André Perret

Dry | White | Still | 13.5%

2019 is the second, and sadly last, vintage of this wine, which comes from a plot of very old (100 years+) vines found just 200m from the appellation boundary of St Joseph. It is a blend of local varieties like Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, with the striking addition of a Savoyard grape variety: Jacquère. Usually, this variety is found on the Alpine slopes, and makes salty, mineral, vibrantly high-acid wines. The 2019 is lower in alcohol and lighter in body than the 2018, with a distinctly salty twist thanks to the Jacquère. Don’t miss it.

Ready: 2021 - 2025

2019 Seyssuel Kamaka, Domaine Bott

Dry | Red | Still | 13%

This is perhaps the wine that needs the most explanation in the Bott cellar. The name may sound unfamiliar. Don’t worry, we’d never tried a Seyssuel either. It comes from vines planted just a 10 minute drive from Ampuis. The soils here are made up of schist and gneiss and Julie says they look shiny when the sunlight catches them. There’s no granite here, on the other side of the river, and the Syrah is floral and pinot-esque, with an elegant texture. Kamata is the Maori work for rock or stone, and a nod to Graeme’s Kiwi origins. Light, fragrant, and delectable. More than a curiosity.

Young: 2022 - 2030