Rhône’s white wines tend to carry a little more weight and flavor concentration compared to those of northern France, but they aren’t heavy or inelegant. Dancing the line between lush and crisp, these wines are perfect for when temperatures drop.
Here are 10 of our favorite winter white wines from the region.
Alain Voge 2017 Fleur de Crussol (Saint-Péray); $53, 94 points. Voluminous and sun-drenched, this delightful varietal Marsanne offers luminous tangerine, yellow apple and pineapple flavors accented by swirls of honey. Sourced from 80-year-old vines and fermented in oak (30% new), it’s a gorgeously perfumed sip lifted by a spine of salty, crystalline minerality and lemony acidity. Drinks beautifully now but should mature nicely well through 2030. Citadel Trading. Editors’ Choice. —Anna Lee C. Iijima
Delas Frères 2018 La Galopine (Condrieu); $68, 93 points. Jasmine blossoms and white peach seduce on the nose of this lavishly fragrant dry white. Unctuous and creamy on the palate, it’s a delightfully languorous sip that highlights Viognier’s fresher, fruitier dimensions. It’s irresistible in its youth, but cellaring till 2030 should bring out more savory complexities, too. Maisons Marques & Domaines. Editors’ Choice. —A.I.
E. Guigal 2018 Château de Nalys Grand Vin (Châteauneuf-du-Pape); $105, 93 points. This smoky, spicy blend of Roussanne, Clairette and Grenache Blanc introduces itself with heady aromas of Bourbon barrels and charred toast. Vinified in oak (18% new barriques), it’s marked with penetrating quince and pear flavors. It feels a bit flamboyant in youth, but should gain nuance from 2023–2030. Vintus LLC. Cellar Selection. —A.I.
Domaine de la Solitude 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape; $45, 92 points. Composed of primarily Clairette and Roussanne (augmented by three other regional white grape varieties), this is a classically styled Châteauneuf-du Pape Blanc. Fresh yellow apple and lemon flavors are juicy and mouthwatering but there’s a sheen of smokiness from nose to finish, too. Matured 10 months in 40% new French oak, it’s a complex, composed white that should improve through 2028. Dreyfus, Ashby & Co. —A.I.
Alain Jaume et Fils 2017 Domaine Grand Veneur La Fontaine (Châteauneuf-du-Pape); $70, 91 points. Dusty earth tones meld into honey, pressed apple and pear in this rich, slightly savory wine made from 100% Roussanne. It’s a concentrated, voluminous white fermented and aged in oak (50% new). The finish is marked by delicate hints of toast and spice. Best now–2025. Kysela Père et Fils. —A.I.
Domaine le Colombier 2018 Vacqueyras; $24, 91 points. This blossomy, fragrant blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne highlights primary white-peach and tangerine flavors. It’s full bodied and sunny, balanced by pert lemon acidity and a pleasantly bitter grip on the finish. Best now–2024. Jerome Selection. —A.I.
Domaine le Novi 2018 Terre de Safres (Luberon); $17, 91 points. Pineapple and white peach penetrate from nose to finish in this fruity blend of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, Bourboulenc and Viognier sourced from sandy clay soils. Unoaked in style, it’s moderately full bodied but spry on the midpalate. The finish is crystalline in its minerality. It’s best enjoyed young. Ideal Wine and Spirits. —A.I.
Domaines André Aubert 2018 Le Devoy (Grignan-les-Adhémar); $18, 91 points. Gorgeous white peach and crushed-mineral notes perfume this dry, lusciously peachy white. A blend of Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Viognier, it’s generous but balanced by a rambling mineral undertow and delightfully salty finish. It’s appealing now but should hold through 2023. Vigneron Imports. Editors’ Choice. —A.I.
Pierre le Grand 2017 Crozes-Hermitage; $25, 90 points. Whiffs of candlewax and hazelnut accent delicate apple and lemon in this full-bodied, juicy white, a blend of 60% Marsanne and 40% Roussanne. The palate showcases crisp yellow pear flavor edged with crushed stone and salt. Best now–2024. Misa Imports. —A.I.
Vidal-Fleury 2019 Côtes du Rhône; $15, 90 points. Produced from 87% Viognier augmented by Grenache Blanc and Clairette, this heady, lavishly perfumed dry white offers plush honeysuckle and white peach flavors cut by lime and lemon acidity. While full-bodied and luscious in mouthfeel the finish is invigorating and crisp. Best now–2025. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. Best Buy. —A.I.
Published: February 3, 2021