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Rhône Blends

With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice ...

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.

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 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 Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can 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 Secret

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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    Alban Pandora 2001
    Rhone Red Blends from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    • WS92
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    Chateau de la Negly Coteaux du Languedoc La Cote 2001
    Rhone Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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      Domaine Font de Michelle Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Etienne Gonnet 2001
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • WS93
      • RP93
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      Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2001
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • RP96
      • V95
      • WS90
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      Dom. les Cailloux Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Cailloux Cuvee Centenaire 2001
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • RP96
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