The Rhône is a region I find delicious and fascinating! It’s made up of four different ‘quality’ levels that adhere to different rules and villages in the area. It’s easy to see which Rhône Valley wine you’ve picked up from the label and this quick run through here:
Côtes du Rhône AOC
This is the entry level of wine from the valley, you can pick up a great bargain with these wines, but expect to drink them young and without much complexity. You’ll tell this wine because it’ll say Côtes du Rhône and nothing else on the label.
Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC
This is the next level up and offers a bit more complexity and wines that can age well. Keep your eye out for these as you can find some real treasures! Again spot by the name!
Côtes du Rhône (named) Villages AOC
The third level is a Rhône Wine that tells you that it comes from a specific village, which signifies quality. If you spot one of these names, you’re likely in for a treat.
- Massif d’Uchaux
- Plan de Dieu
- Saint Maurice
The tip tier is the Cru wines. These are the cream of the crop, adhere to the strictest rules and often command a much higher price tag. The pay off can be huge though with, arguably, some of the nicest wines coming from these places. Look out for these names, some will be familiar!
- Beaumes de Venise
- Saint Joseph
- Saint Peray
The wine I’m drinking tonight is a Cru from Lirac (via M&S)
See the big Lirac on the label? They do make it obvious!
This was really tasty, it has bold aromas of blackberries, cherries and raspberries. This comes through on the palate with delicate pepper spice and some leather too.
It has a real Châteauneuf-du-Pape feel with a wonderful balance of power and delicacy. Super smooth and long finish and well balanced.
We’re having it with pulled beef burritos 🌯 but this would be great with hearty casseroles or bangers and mash!
You’d be hard pressed to find a better value Cru wine at this price.
£10.50 Marks & Spencer