Rhône-style whites are traditionally made using Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Picpoul Blanc in various configurations. While New World regions put their own spin on Rhône-style blends, there’s nothing like the real thing. Real-deal white Rhône-style blends are available at incredible values. These values are often better than their New World counterparts. Check out six of my recent favorites below.
Round and chubby aromas of juicy white peach, tangerine and potpourri on the nose. Thick and silky in the mouth with chewy candy tropical fruits, fresh melon and lemon zest, this is mouth coating and carries a bit of heft with it, but is a bit lighter towards the finish, with excellent length, cantaloupe and chamomile flowers, with a dusting of oak spice to finish.
Michel Gassier Nostre Pais Costieres de Nimes 2014, $17
Lemon meringue, peach and green apple aromas, somewhat simple but pronounced and pleasant. This has a tart, round and creamy palate of grapefruit, lemon and pear with restrained oak spice and zesty acidity yielding to dried herb towards the finish and a slow fading warmth.
Domaine de Fondreche Ventoux Blanc 2014, $18
Emollient and lightly citrusy in the glass with fresh cut flowers, minerally dried apricot and tart lemon. Lemony and full bodied in the mouth, this is commanding and rich, full of fruit and just enough acidity to cut through the oiliness with more lemon and grapefruit, rounding out the finish with a touch of dry stone and more fresh flowers.
Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc 2015, $19
Floral lemon and sunflower seed notes with candied citrus peel and a touch of melon. Fleshy and warm on the palate, this has good lemon fruit flavors and a creamy nuttiness towards the mid palate that adds another dimension of almond and macadamia nuts, finishing with more citrus blossom and a squeeze of peach preserves.
J.L. Chave Celeste Saint-Joseph 2012, $30
Beautiful nose of honeyed pear and elderflower with light lemon and grapefruit notes and a hint of oak spice. Silky smooth in the mouth on entry, this is redolent of peach cobbler with fresh green apple and ripe melon notes and a creamy toast alongside a buttery finish of hazelnut and wooded spice. 91 pts.
Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2015, $32
Floral blossom, white peach and golden apple aromas with lemon shortbread and sun dried hay notes on the nose. Unctuous, creamy and full bodied with generous baked apple, persimmon and peach fruit, a vanilla cream center and a lemon drop candied note delicate on the edges. Finishes with excellent length and more creaminess