Cotes du Rhone North vs. South

The first gathering of the Madison Tasters Club was on September 26th with the topic, Cotes du Rhone, North vs. South. The group was asked specific questions about each wine regarding visual, aromatic and palate impressions. Notes have been compiled based on the group’s answers with the most common responses as well as a few individual quotes from participants.

Domaine Faury, Saint Joseph Blanc 2015

Technical Data: A Northern Rhone wine comprised of 60% Marsanne and 40% Roussane grapes that have been aged for 10 months on the lees, 30% in 1 to 5 year old barrels and 70% in stainless steel.

Group Impressions: The Domaine Faury, Saint Joseph Blanc poured a brilliant straw-gold in color. The aromas were moderate with apple and pear characters. The palate showed low acidity with notes of stone fruits, apple and pear. The group’s consensus was that the wine was full in body and exhibited a buttery, honeyed character.

Quotes :

 “Excellent, Very Smooth”.

“Lovely, full bodied, nutty, great when held in the mouth for a while.”

“Complex and intensity. Lots going on here.”


Domaine du Pere Caboche, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 

Technical Data: A Southern Rhone wine comprised of 40% Clairette, 15% Grenache Blanc, 30% Bourboulenc, 15% Roussane. The wine sees no oak aging or Malolactic fermentation.

Group Impressions: The wine is pale yellow with hints of green. Aromas showed moderate with citrus and stone fruit characters, and herbal notes. The palate followed in suit with stone fruit and citrus as well as impressions of minerality and a spiced nature.


“Very Drinkable”

“Right up my alley! Would buy in drives if my wallet could stand it!”

“I can imagine drinking this with everyday meals, i.e. chicken.”


 Domaine Durand, Saint Joseph “Les Coteaux” 2015

Technical Data: A Northern Rhone wine made from 100% Syrah. A portion of the wine was matured for 12 months in 1 to 5 year old barrels.

Group Impressions:  The wine showed a beautiful ruby color. Aromas included: blackberry and blue fruits, bacon, mushroom, forest and a funky animal character. The palate exhibited black and blue fruits with full tannins, peppery notes and hints of roast meat and smoke.


“Love it-very smooth and drinkable- not too complex to be fussy.”

“Nice complex mix of fruit & cedar, leather and smoke.”

“A lovely wine to drink by the fireside with cheese.” 


Domaine de Dionysos, Cairanne 2014

Technical Data: A Southern Rhone wine comprised of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre. One third of the wines were aged in oak.

Group Impressions: The wine showed garnet in color with good clarity. The bouquet is pronounced and intense with dark berry characters and spice. The palate shows a mix of dark berry and cherry fruit, showing slightly tart with a peppery nuance. The wine has medium tannins and exhibited a long finish.


“Fruity, hot, slightly spicy”

“It’s smooth with nice notes of cherry and berries (mixed).”

 “Long finish, earthy, plums, blackberry, minerality.”


 Laurent Habrard, Crozes-Hermitage 2016

Technical Data: A Northern Rhone wine comprised of 100% certified organic Syrah grapes. The wine is aged for 1 year in 2 to 4 year old neutral oak barrels.

Group Impressions: The wine poured purple in color exhibiting “lovely legs”. The nose was powerful and pronounced with dark fruits, pepper spice and subtle notes of tea and bbq. The palate impressions included blueberry, strawberry and raspberry fruits accented by anise and ginger spice.


“Very approachable, velvety tannins, soft and round.”

“Such a balanced and beautiful wine-lots of mouthfeel- smooth.”

“Lovely aftertaste, supple and lovely to taste, fruity, ginger and herbal”


Famille Perrin, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, “Les Sinards” 2015

Technical Data: A Southern Rhone wine comprised of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre. The wine is initially aged 50% in stainless steel and 50% in new oak, then moved to large Foudre barrels for additional aging.

Group Impressions: A garnet red wine with a bit of brick in its color. The wine showed aromas of blackberry, black cherry and plum, with notes of licorice and black tea. The palate revealed a depth and complexity of dark fruits, anise, pepper, spices and herbs. The finish was long and supported by modest tannins.


“Complex blend of spices and herbs backed by dark fruit.”

“Depth and complexity of flavors”

“Christmas dinner, roast meat/duck, candlelight & family, perfect wine, lovely.”