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Rhône Blends

Learn about Rhône Blends — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

Tasting Notes for Rhône Blends

A Rhône blend is a dry, red wine and will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Rhône Blends

Rhône Blends work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secrets for Rhône Blends

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

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  • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape (stained label) 2003 Front Label
    Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape (stained label) 2003
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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  • Domaine de Beaurenard Cuvee Boisrenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003  Front Label
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    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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  • Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois 2003 Front Label
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  • Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau 2003 Front Label
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    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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  • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2003 Front Label
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