Guide to Rhone Blends

Find out why blended wines are an integral part of history


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Rhone Blends

Chateauneuf has served as the model for a virtual explosion of wines the world over that are loosely grouped together under the Rhone blend moniker, and it’s worth running through some of the big picture details of these wines before proceeding to the major grapes themselves.
Rhone Blends are generally based on Grenache, though some blends may be predominantly Syrah or Mourvedre. The fact that these wines are blends gives the winemakers unusual flexibility in creating a finished wine. In the Southern Rhone Valley of France, the styles can range from light, fruity, soft Cotes du Rhone to big, bold, age-worthy Chateauneuf-du-pape. This blend is also very popular in Australia and the United States where they frequently go by the Moniker GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) and exhibit the rich, bold fruit that both countries are famous for.

Southern Rhone image via Shutterstock

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  • Snooth User: jaybird75
    100123 104

    Boy, Greg, hate to say it, but was I disappointed.
    Not a word about whites! What's up with that?
    Really though, this is a much bigger topic than anyone can cover in one article, based on your title. A short article, at that.
    This article was about a few of the red wines grapes in the Rhone, and mostly just Southern rhone at that. You could have mentioned the Northern Rhone, it does exist. Mostly Syrah, some other grapes too. Wouldn't have hurt.
    But enough of the smart aleck.
    I have been wanting to dig more deeply into Rhone wines, but especially the whites! I had a white St. Joseph and it was terrific. (I'm not a fan at all of Viognier from anywhere.) I guess it's Marsanne (sp?) and other grapes in the North, but what about White Cote du Rhones? Same? Could you dig into that sometime? Do you like White Rhones?

    Jan 14, 2013 at 6:17 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    Hi Jaybird,

    I hear you, wrote all this about whites earlier last year and more! Producers to look for

    I'll write separately about Syrah, I just find the wines of the Northern Rhone to be so different, so much more wines of place that I don't even think of them in the same sentence as wines from the south!

    Jan 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM

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