Rhône 2019 En Primeur Vintage Report
2019 in the Rhône is yet another resounding success based both on our tastings and on the comments of the wine critics which include 'stellar year' and 'beautiful, possibly exceptional'.
This is thus a great time to launch our most extensive Rhône En Primeur offer for some years. A warm and dry vintage with just the right amount of rain at the perfect time taking it into the top tier of recent crops, this is a vintage you will want to have in your collection.
In the North, syrah shows superb aromatics and tension to lift the concentrated, dense dark fruit, and with good volumes apart from Crozes-Hermitage which was hit by a terrible hailstorm and so the wines here are superb but availability is very low indeed this year. We have however secured 5 different Crozes with reasonable but not high depth of stock.
Condrieu benefitted from the lower yields due to difficult flowering and thus delivers wines of elegant richness and poise.
In the South reds are exceptionally concentrated, pure yet lifted. The winner of all communes is indubitably Châteauneuf-du-Pape – the rare combination of ripeness and energy mean they are some of the best Châteauneufs of the past 30 years, perhaps only eclipsed by the “vintage of a lifetime” that was 2016, and not by much!
"2019 is clearly a vintage of extremely high quality and marks the fifth straight stellar year for the region. A number of producers who aren't prone to hyperbole told me they think 2019 and 2015 are the most impressive of this recent run of great years, but for different reasons. It's rare to find real freshness and detail in wines from a year that was as hot and rain-bereft as 2019, but paradoxically, that's indeed the case."
Josh Reynolds - vinous.com on Northern Rhône 2019
Part of the secret is grape varieties and old vines capable of thriving in hot and dry conditions, yet a little luck was also needed to avoid plants shutting down and to keep the freshness of fruit in the wines. As mentioned above this came in the form of propitious precipitation – downpours at the perfect moment in August, and again in lower quantity mid-September. Top growers picked early to maintain structure and that all-important spine of acidity.
Prices in the Rhône remain compelling, and increasingly so when compared to some of the other classic regions for Fine Wine.
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Ludovic Surina - Mr Wheeler’s Fine Wine Desk