Have you done white Rhone wines?

White Rhone wines

White Rhone wines

Blind tasting of white Rhone wines

White Rhone wines are not particularly the most popular or widely-sold white wines in the U.S. Relatively few are found in wine shops and certainly are not available in most supermarket wine departments. Rhone reds are another story; they are very popular and offer the wine consumer quality wines at great value prices. The fact is that less than 10% of the vineyards in the Rhone Valley of France are planted to white Rhone varieties. But, as we found from our tasting of six Rhone white wines, they are wonderful tasting wines and most are very reasonable in price. The Rhone white grapes include Viognier, Marsanne, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, and Bourboulenc. All of the white Rhone wines in our blind tasting were Rhone blends and included some but not all of these white Rhone grapes. Vintage Wine Taster Mike selected all the wines from K&L Wines in Redwood City. These are the wines we tasted and how we ranked them on our blind tasting.

  1. 2014 Guigal Cotes du Rhone $12.99
  2. 2013 Cigale Chateaunefu du Pape Blanc $29.99
  3. 2014 Delas “St-Esprit” Cotes du Rhone Blanc $11.99
  4. 2014 Domaine Aphillanthes “Cuvee Clementia” Cotes du Rhone $17.99
  5. 2013 Jean-Luc Colombo “Les Abeilles” Cotes du Rhone Blanc $10.99
  6. 2014 Domaine Pradelle Crozes-Hermitage Blanc $19.99

These were all flavorful wines with just a few measly points separating our top-rated wine from the bottom wine. Each is certainly a delicious and food-friendly wine and a wonderful alternative to California’s most popular white wines. In the production of white wines in the Rhone, the fermentation and aging is done in stainless steel tanks or concrete tanks. Neutral oak barrels are also used, but to a much lesser degree. Our top-rated wine, Guigal Cotes du Rhone, is a blend of 65% Viognier, 15% Rousanne, 10% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, and 2% Bourboulenc. This wine is a great price at $12.99 and has a 90-point rating from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Another great value was our third-place wine and my favorite, the Delas “St-Esprit” Cotes du Rhone Blanc for $11.99. This one will please a crowd and your pocketbook.

We found all the wines to be fresh and aromatic, and a very pleasing change-of-pace from the most popular varieties of white wines. None were too crisp or acidic; the balance of these wonderful white Rhone wines was absolutely perfect. Very few California white wines, whether they be Rhone style, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, can match the the quality of these wines at these prices.  If you have not done white Rhone wines, get to the Wine-Searcher right now and plug in these wines to see where they might be selling at a wine shop near you. Serve any of these wines with cheese appetizers or, how about a fig and goat cheese pizza?

Comments

  1. M Harrold says

    I’d also recommend the Perrin Cotes du Rhone blanc – at Trader Joes for about $9. As good as the Guigal IMO.

    • Excellent! I will look for the Perrin Cotes du Rhone Blanc on my next shopping trip to Trader Joe’s. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. As a group these wines were outstanding. All were clean and bright with mixed flavors of stone and flowers. A totally different experience in white wine with exotic mouth feel. These are a group of wines you can serve and I am sure your guests will enjoy this great change of pace. Very versatile with many types of food.

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