And To Your Left, The Rhône Valley
Post by Chuck Hayward | March 3rd, 2011
This week saw plans put into action at JJ Buckley. Co-owner Shaun Bishop, fine wine specialist John Sweeney, and I recently arrived in Lyon to explore the wines of the Rhône Valley. And what brought us out to this striking region of France other than the scenery? First, it is clear that the wines of Chateauneuf du Pape hold significant sway among JJ Buckley customers, especially if sales of the highly acclaimed 2007 vintage are any indication. Second, early word from several wine critics indicates Rhône enthusiasts should be particularly excited about the 2009 syrah dominant releases from the north. Therefore, when we found out about the bi- annual Decouvertes en Vallee du Rhône event, plane tickets were booked, appointments were scheduled, and we were off!
The Decourvertes tastings bring the global wine trade to the Rhône Valley to taste current and upcoming releases along with a smattering of older vintages. Instead of a “big box” event held in one location, these tastings are arranged by region, beginning in the small, northern hamlet of Ampuis—home to Côte Rôtie—and ending with the grande finale a week later with a sampling of Chateauneuf du Pape in the southern Rhône district. It was a fantastic opportunity, since despite the popularity of Rhône wines in the American market, members of the wine trade do not often find themselves traipsing the steep slopes north of Tain or gazing upon the stones that serve as the foundation for the great wines of CdP. (more…)