Posts Tagged ‘Rhone’

Breaking old rules, to creative new wines ...

Breaking old rules, to creative new wines …


As I mentioned here once before, the fad in California wines for more than a decade now has been the heavy emphasis on what I call MSG wines. 


No, that’s not a designation of something to order in your favorite Chinese restaurant; rather, it refers to Rhone-style blends featuring Mourvedre-Syrah-Grenache.   Many of these blends are knockouts, and adjusting the blend allows winemakers to bob and weave depending on the weather and harvest to deliver a very consistent wine. 


A number of French winemakers have come to the central coast of California because they can experiment here, whereas in France the wine bureaucracy prevents wine makers from innovating.  While I like many of these efforts, I still prefer old-fashioned straight-up classic varietals, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah.  (I’m having a 100% Syrah tonight with my grilled pork roast.)


Read on …

Results from the latest auction suggest Asian collectors could soon be heading south of Burgundy.


Cheers to Burgundy, hello to the Rhone.

Cheers to Burgundy, hello to the Rhone.


There are signs that the fine wines of the Rhône Valley are beginning to garner interest from Asian buyers, following the buoyant sale results of Paul Jaboulet Aîné’s wines at Sotheby’s over the weekend.

The December 8 auction in Hong Kong suggests fine-wine collectors in Asia are prepared to look beyond Bordeaux and Burgundy. All of the lots, which came direct from the producer’s cellar, were sold, with the 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle fetching 171,500 Hong Kong dollars ($21,987) per bottle – 165 percent higher than the auction house’s estimate.

The sale of the Jaboulet Aîné wines, ranging from 1949 to 2009,… read on

Adi Badenhorst.

Adi Badenhorst.

One of South Africa’s biggest wine personalities, Adi Badenhorst lives in the Swartland with his wife and two children, a dog as big as a bear, peacocks and chickens. He specializes in Rhône blends made from gnarly old vines.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

I turned 40 on the 18th of September – so I was born in 1972 – and I had a bit of a party a few weeks before that. And when I looked in the mirror, I said: ‘F***, you are looking good, man – damn fine!’

Where did you grow up?

I haven’t thrown up in a long time. Not since I was 14.

What drew you to wine?

I was born into wine. My grandfather and my father were both viticulturists, so I grew up on wine farms and started making wine when I was at school. Made some really dodgy wines – a bit of pinot grigio and a bit of cab.

Then, I went to Stellenbosch University to study something. Three gloriously blurry years went by before I went to agricultural college – a pseudo-academic institution where you do bucket chemistry and a bit of winemaking – and then I could get a semi-proper job. I never got a degree; I’m a bit of a cerebral dwarf when it comes to that sort of stuff.

What’s your view of scoring wines by points?

I don’t know. I’m no good at maths so it doesn’t work for me. If it’s more than 10, I get a bit nervous!

Who are your heroes?
Read on …