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Rhone Madness!

Following a series of great vintages, Rhone wines are the ones to watch...


Rhone wine lovers will soon be showered with a great number of enticing wines from the Rhone Valley. With both red and white varietals benefiting from a string of outstanding vintages and the release of 1997 and 1998 vintages from Hermitage and Condrieu, we are entering another period of Rhone Madness.

Rhone Wines offer the broadest window of drinkability of any great wine the world. Unlike young Bordeaux, virtually every red Rhone Valley wine - with the exception of Cornas and Hermitage - can typically be drunk when released. They also have the ability to age gracefully and drink well for 15 - 25 years in top vintages such as 1997, 1998 and 2000. Given their consistency in quality and performance, the top Rhone wines possess a longevity potential equaled only by a handful of California Cabernets and the finest Bordeaux Chateaux. In fact, among the Rhone Valley's wines, only Hermitage is impenetrable when young - often needing a minimum of 10 to 15 years of cellaring before it can be drunk. You can safely bet that a '97 or '98 Hermitage will out live any wine produced in the world from equivalent vintages...