Learn about Rhône Blends — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
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 of Rhone Blends 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 for these red wines.
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 Rhone 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 in Rhone-style red blends.
Domaine Gourt de Mautens Vaucluse Rouge 2015Rhone Red Blends from Rhone, France
Domaine Condorcet Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Chateau Simone Rouge 2015Rhone Red Blends from Provence, South of France, France
Les Vignes Oubliees Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac 2015Rhone Red Blends from Terrasses du Larzac, Languedoc, South of France, France
Chateau de la Negly Clos des Truffieres Rouge 2015Rhone Red Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
Donelan Cuvee Moriah 2015Rhone Red Blends from Bennett Valley, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California