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SubRegion: Marlborough

Revision 3; edited by stewartj49@gmail.com on 10/10/2017

SubRegion: Southern Rhône

Revision 20; edited by joraesque on 10/5/2017

Guide to the wines, wineries and appellations in the Southern Rhone Valley

The southern Rhône is famous for the number of different grape varieties officially allowed there, up to 18 in its most famous appellation Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but Grenache has always been by far the most planted, making usually up a good 80% of the blend in a typical vintage.

RP APPRAISAL OF SOUTHERN RHONE VINTAGES:
WA: 2012 92E / 2011 88R / 2010 98T / 2009 93E/ 2008 86R / 2007 98E / 2006 92R / 2005 95T / 2004 88R / 2003 90I / 2002 58C / 2001 96T / 2000 98E

### 2005 ###
In southern Rhone, 2005 was a below average sized crop, because of continuing drought and the fact that there are so many old vineyards where low yields are the rule of thumb even in an abundant year. While 2005 is truly an excellent vintage in the south, I do not believe it is a compellingly great vintage, because it has more in common with beefed up, improved version of 1995 than with what I consider an irrefutably great vintage like 1998, 2001 or even 2000. Certainly the wines have plenty of structure and possess fresher, more vibrant acidities than most years provide. The top wines also display impressive levels of concentration. However all the 2005s tend to reveal a certain firmness, and if the grapes were picked too soon, or the vinification/upbringing were not carefully handled, there is a toughness and austerity to the tannins that ultimately will prove to be problematic. Nevertheless, there is an ocean of top wines.


### 2007 ###
The 2007 vintage in Southern France was wonderful. Here is what controversial Robert M. Parker (Wine Advocate Issue 179) said about it, “Throughout the southern Rhône, 2007 is the greatest vintage I have tasted in my thirty years working in that region. I think of 2007 as a hypothetical blend of an opulent, powerful, sumptuous year such as 1990, and a cooler draught vintage such as 2001. The cool weather and the remarkable three weeks of Mistral in September that concentrated the grapes without any spikes of high heat appears to have given the 2007s an aromatic dimension and freshness that I have rarely witnessed. Combine that with wines that are substantial, powerful, and relatively high in alcohol, with super depth of fruit! These are very aromatic wines of great concentration, freshness, laser-like focus, and amazing purity as well as depth. It is the vintage of my lifetime for this region, and I don’t say that lightly.”

### 2010 ###
Robert Parker, on the 2010 vintage:
"Some producers think 2010 eclipses 2007 because of the wines' vivid freshness and focus. Throughout the southern Rhône, the hallmarks of the vintage are very dense purple, sometimes even blue/black colors as well as higher acid levels that have not been seen since 2004 and 2001. In fact, 2010's paradox is that I can't remember a vintage so concentrated, powerful and rich that also has such zesty acidity. The 2010s will have significant aging potential, which is obvious in the level of tannins, but the tannins are sweet with exceptional elegance and finesse. The ratio of high extractive and phenolic skins to the juice has produced wines of extraordinary intensity, freshness, aromatic potential and obvious longevity. This is another great vintage that offers an embarrassment of riches for this region that has enjoyed a succession of extraordinary years."

### 2011 ###
- "has most Rhône vintners exceedingly optimistic for a third straight outstanding year…" -Wine Spectator
- "fans of fruit-forward, accessible wines will find plenty to like from '11, which looks to be an ideal candidate for restaurants as well as for wine lovers…" -Stephen Tanzer
- “we have got 2011 which is a combination of these two great vintages." -Michel Chapoutier on how 2011 is a combination of the 2009 and 2010 vintage
- The 2011 Southern Rhone Region was Rated 89-92 by Wine Spectator's Vintage Chart!

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "2011 and 2010 Southern Rhone Wines", By Josh Raynolds, Jan/Feb 2013
"...fans of fruit-forward, accessible wines will find plenty to like from '11, which looks to be an ideal candidate for restaurants as well as for wine lovers who lack the facilities or patience for long-term storage.
Fans of graceful, fruit-driven Rhone wines will find plenty to like from 2011 and, as was the case in 2008, 2006 and 2004…"

vitabella.fr: "Michel Chapoutier on 2011 in Rhone Valley: A detailed Early Report ", 26 Octobre 2011
The tastings of the 2011 vintage have recently given an opportunity for Michel Chapoutier to give his first impressions of the quality of this vintage for the appellations of the Rhone Valley. Prior to the presentation of each appellation, he noted that "after a warm and sunny 2009 vintage that resulted in the exuberance of grape varieties, 2010 was a fresher year with slow maturities which generally gave tense wines - to those who were able to wait for the phenolic maturity - some mineral wines, elegant with an outward expression of the soil, we have got 2011 which is a combination of these two great vintages. "
"This 2011 harvest in Rhone Valley was both early and late: a real paradox!"

Wine Spectator’s Vintage Chart: Southern Rhone, Vintage 2011, Score: 89-92
"Warm spring, but cool, wet weather in July and August led to uneven ripening; Indian summer saved the vintage. Grenache is light, but Syrah and Mourvèdre strong, so blending key; there will be some excellent wines, but heterogenous from domaine to domaine."

### 2016 ###
"According to Michel Chapoutier, 2016 could be better than 1990 in the southern Rhône – praise indeed. Warm conditions throughout the year along with reduced yields has resulted in wines of great concentration – in colour, tannin and flavour. Certainly one of the great vintages, for reds anyway." - Jancis Robinson

Revision 2; edited by BHips on 10/2/2017

SubRegion: Beaujolais

Revision 14; edited by joraesque on 9/22/2017

Vins du Beaujolais (L’Union des Vignerons du Beaujolais)

# 2009 Vintage Notes:

"There will be a lot of absolutely delicious Beaujolais to try in 2009, as it is indeed a very good, atypically ripe and opulent vintage for Beaujolais. As others here have mentioned, the Louis-Dressner and Kermit Lynch portfolios cover many of the very best estates (with an honorable mention for importer Weygandt-Metzler), and just choosing from their strip labels is a very good jumping off point. As a quick primer, the three best Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages producers that I regularly cross paths with are the aformentioned Jean-Paul Brun and his Domaine Terres Dorées, Pierre Chermette of Domaine du Vissoux and Domaine Dupeuble from the Kermit Lynch's portfolio. I also find the Beaujolais-Villages from Joseph Drouhin consistently excellent and very classic in style and like all of this firm's Beaujolais, a completely underrated source for very top drawer Crus and B-Villages.
Amongst the Cru Beaujolais, it is important to keep in mind(again as folks have mentioned already) that certain villages tend to produce much more structured wines, and this will be very evident in a powerful vintage like 2009. In general terms, the wines from Moulin-a-Vent, Morgon and Cote de Brouilly are going to demand a bit of bottle age to really start to drink well in 2009, and these may not be the best growers to focus on when tasting through the vintage to draw your own conclusions. But in these appellations, if you keep in mind that what you are tasting is likely going to need five years of bottle age to really blossom from these crus, you cannot go wrong with Kermit Lynch's "Gang of Five" producers- Thevenet, Lapierre, Foillard, Breton are four of the five- as well as Georges Descombes and Louis et Claude Desvignes from Louis-Dressner. I also like very much the Morgons made by Louis Jadot and Joseph Drouhin for the big houses, and Jean-Paul Brun also makes a very good example of Morgon.
In Moulin-a-Vent, Louis Jadot's Chateau des Jacques makes a very good range- though always structured when young- and Bernard Diochon is excellent year in and year out. Pierre Chermette also makes superb Moulin-a-Vent and the Drouhin version is consistently exceptional. In Cote de Brouilly, the two most exciting producers are Nicole Chanrion and Chateau Thivin (both represented by Kermit Lynch). The Chanrion is usually very accessible out of the blocks for this very stony terroir (it is an extinct volcano), while the Chateau Thivin bottlings demand time and are usually tight and structured when young. Better to try the delicious straight Brouilly from Chateau Thivin if you want to drink one of their wines out of the blocks, as that never demands patience and is lovely.
In the less structured Cru villages, wines I particularly like are the aformentioned Clos de la Roilette in Fleurie (they are the Chateau Yquem of the village- though their vines are right on the Moulin-a-Vent border and the wine used to be sold as Moulin-a-Vent before the AOC went into effect, so they are a bit more structured than most Fleuries), Cedric Chignard, Jean-Paul Brun and Pierre Chermette are all very, very good sources. Domaine Diochon in Moulin-a-Vent also makes a good Fleurie, as does Joseph Drouhin. In general these will be more floral, open and sappy bottles of Beaujolais out of the blocks and they will be delicious from the get-go.
In St. Amour, Domaine des Billards makes absolutely brilliant wines and is one of my favorite producers in all of Beaujolais. In Julienas, Michel Tete is the star producer, but I also like the Drouhin bottling from here very well indeed. There are many more outstanding bottlings to be found scattered thorughout the crus and I am sure that I am forgetting several worthy estates, but this at least will give you a good "to do" list to get started with the vintage. The only '09s I have tasted thus far are the Joseph Drouhin wines, which I tasted through in Beaune in March, and they are deep, sappy and beautifully soil-driven. If all the other top estates have made wines in this style, then this is indeed going to be a very special vintage for the region. But with the wines from Morgon and Moulin-a-Vent, you may do better trying a few bottles from either the 2006 or 2007 vintage if you can find them well-stored, as these are less structured vintages and both are beginning to really drink well from these villages." - John Gilman

# 2014 Vintage Notes:

"The 2014 vintage in Beaujolais is absolutely terrific and probably, along with 2011, the best vintage in the region since 2005. The region has had a bit of a rollercoaster ride in the last few years, with an absolutely phenomenal vintage in 2011 (particularly for those of us who like to age our Beaujolais for several years prior to serving), one of the most difficult growing seasons in recent memory in 2012, a good, solid classic vintage in 2013, and now, again, another truly outstanding vintage in 2014." - John Gilman

"2014 [...] vintage is a return to the mineral-cracked freshness and explosive low-alcohol red fruit the cru level wines of this region are famous for but have lacked since 2010/2011 (without the potentially hard/green/diffuse/underripe character found in many 2012/2013's)." - Jon Rimmerman

"the 2014s exhibit lively berry and floral character punctuated by zesty minerality. The wines are concentrated yet not heavy, and show good structure without coming off as outsized. Many producers I visited in June described the wines as a hybrid of the 2010s and 2011s, combining the structure of the earlier vintage and the fruit intensity of the latter. As such, the 2014s, as a group, are hugely appealing right now but I have no doubt that they will reward another three to five years of aging. Many of the brawniest 2014s have the material to see them through a decade or more of life but by that point they’ll have little resemblance to most peoples’ notion of Beaujolais, so I’d advise drinking almost all of the ‘14s before they hit their tenth birthday." - Josh Raynolds

# 2015 Vintage Notes:

"Vinification will not be straightforward and the 2015 vintage will be a reflection of the quality of the winemaker." - Jean Loron

"the wines have the potential to age and evolve beautifully" - Michael Apstein

SubRegion: Central Virginia

Revision 2; edited by 71Wahoo on 9/11/2017

Shenandoah Wine AVA

SubRegion: Napa / Sonoma

Revision 2; edited by AttuneJason on 6/9/2017

Sonoma

SubRegion: Montefalco

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/19/2017

SubRegion: Chablais

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/17/2017

SubRegion: Valais

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/17/2017

SubRegion: Schaffhausen

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/16/2017

SubRegion: Carnuntum

Revision 2; edited by charlie11 on 4/20/2017

SubRegion: Mittelburgenland

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 12/22/2016

SubRegion: Neusiedlersee

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 12/15/2016

SubRegion: Gisborne

Revision 2; edited by charlie11 on 12/6/2016

SubRegion: Northern Rhône

Revision 11; edited by Nealefisher on 8/27/2016

Guide to the wines and appellations of the Northern Rhone Valley -

The Rhône Valley/Le Vins de la Vallée du Rhône (Comité Interprofession des vins AOC Côtes et vallée du Rhône)

Regional History:
Phocaean Greeks established viticulture in the Rhone as far back as 600 BC, but until the 14th century the wines were not seen outside the region. The establishment of the Avignonese Papacy (1305-1377) brought fame to the region's wine-so much so that their Burgundian neighbors to the north banned wines from the Rhone in 1446, a measure that effectively cut off trade with England and other Northern European markets for over 200 years. Stretching southward from Lyon to just south of Avignon, the Rhone produces a wide variety of wines, with the appellations north of Valence producing the least (in volume), and the towns south of Montelimar producing prodigious amounts. As in other regions, the most interesting wines come from small farms. Saint-Joseph, in the northern Rhone, extends for some distance between Condrieu in the north to Saint-Peray in the south. The reds are made from Syrah and the rare whites from Marsanne and Roussanne, and Viognier.

SubRegion: Swartland

Revision 1; edited by loloFR on 7/29/2016

Darling

SubRegion: Monferrato

Revision 1; edited by lvjohn on 7/15/2016

SubRegion: La Côte

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 6/8/2016

SubRegion: North Coast

Revision 6; edited by ChipGreen on 5/17/2016

The North Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA) in California, covering more than three million acres, includes Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties, and portions of Marin and Solano counties. (see The Wine Institute for more information)

SubRegion: Chablis

Revision 9; edited by joraesque on 11/16/2015

Chablis (Fédération de Défense de l'Appellation Chablis) | Chablis (Burgundy Wines)

2014 Vintage Notes:
"... a hybrid of 2004/2007 and 2010. The stone, citrus and limestone amalgam is exactly what we search for in Chablis as the style harkens to a day in the Cote de Beaune proper (1960's - 1980's) when wine was not meant to be consumed the week it was released, battonage was not used by all and new oak was rarely seen ... the texture is natural and 'of the vintage' not 'of the winemaker' .... Like Sancerre or the Loire in general, 2014 in Chablis is one of those rare years with extract and transparency. It appears to be a vintage for the "neoclassic" ages and those of us intent on cellaring the most terroir-driven (but still powerful) examples of vineyard, site-place and varietal will want to invest (heavily) in the magnetic and electric 2014's." - Jon Rimmerman

SubRegion: Valpolicella

Revision 10; edited by charlie11 on 3/26/2015

SubRegion: Bolgheri

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 2/9/2015

SubRegion: Alba

Revision 4; edited by iByron on 10/1/2014

Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Roero

Alba is a town and comune of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Cuneo. It is considered the capital of the hilly area of Langhe, and is famous for the white truffle, peach and wine production. Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.

SubRegion: Asti

Revision 1; edited by iByron on 10/1/2014

SubRegion: Côte des Blancs

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 5/22/2014

SubRegion: Thermenregion

Revision 2; edited by charlie11 on 4/30/2014

SubRegion: Kremstal

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 3/21/2014

SubRegion: Médoc

Revision 14; edited by Jeff Leve on 2/5/2013

Vins du Médoc (Conseil des Vins du Médoc) - Read More about the Medoc
The eight precisely defined appellations of the whole of the Médoc (from Blanquefort Brook to the north of the Bordeaux built-up area, almost to the Pointe de Grave) may claim the Médoc appellation. But there is also a specific territory in the north of the peninsula which produces exclusively wines with this appellation. In the great majority, the Médocs come from the north of the peninsula. The great individuality of this region is that the number of vines has increased more recently here than elsewhere, apart from a few isolated spots where vines have grown for many years. Today, the size of the small estate has brought about the development of a powerful co-operative movement. Four co-operatives out of five belong to the group called Unimédoc which ensures aging, bottling and marketing a large proportion of their wines.

SubRegion: Libournais

Revision 10; edited by Jeff Leve on 9/12/2012

Libournais (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) - Read more about St. Emilion and its wines - Read more about Pomerol and its wines

Saint Emilion Grat Classified Growth, Classified Growths, Grands Crus Classes, GCC

In 1954, while the "Graves" growths had just published their own classification, the wine syndicate of Saint-Emilion, composed by wine growers, brokers and wine traders with the approval of the INAO - Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (A.O.C), decided to work on a classification for the wines of Saint Emilion. Initially, four grades were defined. These were reduced to two - First Great Classified Growth (A and B) and Great Classified Growth - in 1984.

As of Medoc's 1855 historical grading, the Saint-Emilion Great Classified Growth classification is not only based on qualitative criteria by tasting the wines on a ten years period previous to the assessment, but also on commercial considerations such as:
- sales price levels
- national and international commercial distribution
- the estate's reputation on the market

Properties who don't manage to join the club of about sixty Classified Growths are given the denomination of Great Growth ("Grand Cru"), while the remaining wineries of the A.O.C are simply reported as "Saint-Emilion". It is to be noted that the owners must officially apply to appear in the official classification. Thus for example the famous Chateau Tertre-Roteboeuf, whose quality and reputation would easily justify to be listed among the First Great Classified Growths, does not appear here by the will of its owner, François Mitjaville.

The Saint-Emilion Great Growth classification was revised in 1969, 1985, 1996 and 2006. The only two guaranteed vintage (A.O.C) who can apply to the classification are the "Saint-Emilion Grand Cru" and "Saint-Emilion" areas.

By grading 61 properties, the 2006 revision confirmed many growths from the former classification, but also caused a number of surprises and a few inevitable disappointments. Many observers thought that the impressive progression of Perse's Chateau Pavie since 1998 would be rewarded by an upgrade into the First Great Classified Growths (A) category, but finally such was not the case.

Among the estates promoted to the First Great Classified Growths B category are Chateau Troplong-Mondot and Pavie-Macquin, whose efforts made since the Nineties fully justify their new grade. It should be noted that no First Great Classified Growth was relegated to the lower Great Classified Growth class.

Promoted growths from the status of Great Growth ("Grand Cru") to Great Classified Growth ("Grand Cru Classe") are: Chateaux Bellefont-Belcier, Destieux, Fleur Cardinale, Grand Corbin, Grand Corbin-Despagne and Monbousquet.

The demoted growths from the status of Great Classified Growth to Great Growth are: Chateaux Bellevue, Cadet Bon, Faurie de Souchard, Guadet Saint-Julien, La Tour du Pin-Figeac (Belivier), La Tour du Pin-Figeac (Moueix), Lamarzelle, Petite Faurie de Soutard, Tertre Daugay, Villemaurine and Yon-Figeac. If the recent samples of some of the above mentioned properties may justify their current downgrade, there are great chances that estates like Bellevue, Tertre Daugay or Yon-Figeac will be upgraded to their previous rankings by the next revision in 2016 as the progresses noted after 2000, but not entering in the range of vintages (1993 - 2002) appointed for the criteria of selection for the 2006 classification, are noticable.

The two following estates have completely disappeared from the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classification: Curé-Bon-la-Madeleine (integrated meanwhile to Chateau Canon) and La Clusière (integrated meanwhile to Chateau Pavie).

Finally, no estate considered as "garagiste" has integrated the classification. Valandraud, Mondotte, Le Dome, Bellevue-Mondotte or Magrez-Fombrauge have, for the least, the potential to be ranked as Great Classified Growths. In sight of the very fine quality reached by the above mentioned estates in recent vintages as well as all the innovative wine making methods used by the "garagistes", it remains to be seen whether the authorities will dare to cross the line in 2016..?

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 8/23/2012

SubRegion: St. Hippolyte

Revision 1; edited by SWHighlander on 8/12/2012

From Domaine Marcel Deiss tasting menu and notes, Aug 2012:

TERROIR
Saint Hippolyte soil, in steep slope, fitted out by historic terraces, in front of the South and constituted by very degraded, poor and thin granite: complex vineyard, gathering the most premature [sic] grape varieties and the Riesling in a salty symphony.

SubRegion: Robertson

Revision 2; edited by Krowson on 5/11/2012

SubRegion: Ardèche

Revision 3; edited by ronaldnl on 5/4/2012

'IGP des Coteaux de l' Ardeche' + 'Vin de France' is official legal name after harmonisation EU legislation (Vin de Pays is no longer legal for new vintages). Please add new legal name IGP as option for 'Appellation' for all ex Vin de Pays appelations to maintain consistency in entries and thus quality of Cellartracker. Thank you.

SubRegion: Columbia Valley

Revision 3; edited by Eric on 3/28/2012

Columbia Cascade Winery Association

The Columbia Valley AVA lies mostly in Washington state, with a small section in Oregon. The Cascade Range forms its western boundary with the Palouse regions bordering the area to the east. To the north, the Okanogan National Forest forms a border with the AVA and Canada. It encompasses the valleys formed by the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Walla Walla River, the Snake River, and the Yakima River. The Columbia valley stretches between the 46th parallel and 47th parallel which puts it in line with the well known French wine growing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The northern latitude gives the areas two more hours of additional daylight during the summer growing season than wine regions of California receive. The volcanic and sandy loam soil of the valley offers good drainage and is poor in nutrients, ideal in forcing the vine to concentrate its resources into the grape clusters.

SubRegion: Dordogne

Revision 5; edited by gizzmo on 3/15/2012

Bergerac website features wine, food and regional attractions, in French, English and Spanish.

(The earlier link in this article, __ Le Vins de Bergerac (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de la Région de Bergerac)__, seems out of date (events from 2008?) and a little limited in content, also mostly in French.)

__ Le Vins de Bergerac (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de la Région de Bergerac)__, = recently updated

Recently updated website : www.route-des-vins-de-bergerac.com

SubRegion: Chianti

Revision 3; edited by iByron on 1/31/2012

SubRegion: Wachau

Revision 2; edited by charlie11 on 1/23/2012

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 1/9/2012

SubRegion: Bergheim

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 1/4/2012

SubRegion: Beblenheim

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 1/4/2012

SubRegion: Turckheim

Revision 1; edited by charlie11 on 1/4/2012

is a village in southern Alsace. vineyards on weinlagen.info

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