Tasting Rhone’s great wines

Cotes du Rhone 'Belleruche'  2010, M.Chapoutier

Cotes du Rhone 'Belleruche' 2010, M.Chapoutier

ALISTAIR GIBSON: Some of today’s wines have serious balancing issues

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I was fortunate enough last autumn to spend a memorable day in Tain L’Hermitage in the Northern Rhone Valley tasting wine at M.Chapoutier.

The Chapoutier family have been making wine in the Rhone Valley since 1808, and it’s only since 1990, when Michel Chapoutier took over the company, that the wines really started grabbing the world’s attention.

There are few winemakers anywhere in the world to whom the word genius is so often attached, but Michel has turned this Rhone producer into one of the world’s greatest and most talked-about wine houses.

I’m hosting a Rhone wine dinner at the Brookfield Hotel in Emsworth on February 28, which will be an opportunity to taste a range of the company’s wines. Tickets are limited and available on (01243) 373363.

TOP TIPPLE: Cotes du Rhone ‘Belleruche’ 2010, M.Chapoutier

This is a blend of Grenache and Syrah from the fabulous 2010 vintage, and is everything a sub £10 Cotes du Rhone should be.

The nose offers dark fruits and earthy notes, which are followed by more fruit and a touch of liquorice on the palate. It’s perfect with sausage and mash.

Hermitage Cellars £8.25, Majestic £9.99 or £8.99 each when you buy two.

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