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Rhône Blends

With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice...

With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

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  • Chateau de Segries Lirac Secret Grange 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Lirac, Rhone, France
    • RP94
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  • Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP98
    • V94
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  • Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP96
    • V93
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  • Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP96
    • V93
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  • Alain Jaume Grande Garrigue Vacqueyras 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Vacqueyras, Rhone, France
    • RP92
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  • Alain Jaume Cairanne Les Travees 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rhone, France
    • RP92
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  • Jaboulet Chateauneuf-du-Pape Domaine de Terre Ferme 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • V92
    • RP91
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  • Domaine du Somail Minervos Vin de Plume 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Minervois, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
    • RP91
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  • Alain Jaume Ventoux Les Gelinottes 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Rhone, France
    • RP89
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  • Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albions 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    • RP90
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  • Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • JS93
    • V92
    • RP91
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  • Domaine La Bouissiere Gigondas 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • RP91
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  • Domaine de Saint Siffrein Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP90
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  • Alban Pandora 2001
    Rhone Red Blends from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    • WS92
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  • Chateau Fortia Tradition Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP90
    • V90
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  • Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • V95
    • RP95
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  • Arnoux et Fils Vacqueyras Seigneur de Lauris 2012
    Rhone Red Blends from Vacqueyras, Rhone, France
    • V93
    • RP90
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  • Booker Vineyard Vertigo 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP97
    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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  • Chateau de Segries Lirac Cuvee Reservee 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Lirac, Rhone, France
    • RP92
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  • Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats 2015
    Rhone Red Blends from Rasteau, Rhone, France
    • RP91
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  • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2000
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • RP97
    • V93
    Currently Unavailable $179.00
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  • Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac 2014
    Rhone Red Blends from Lirac, Rhone, France
    • V91
    • RP90
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  • Domaine les Pallieres Gigondas Les Racines 2014
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • RP92
    • V92
    • WS90
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  • Chateau Pesquie Terrasses Rouge 2013
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Ventoux, Rhone, France
    • RP91
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  • Domaine les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasse du Diable 2014
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • V93
    • RP91
    • WS91
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