It's one of my favorite things to do here at work: walk into Marvin's office to say I'll see him in two weeks. When he asks where I'm going, I say "Off to the Rhône, again." I then high-tail it out of his office before he gets a chance to change his mind. (Especially considering it's truffle season there right now!)
This is my ninth trip through the region since I began covering it back in 2004, before my blog even existed. You can reference my notes from visits to numerous domaines by checking out my blog archives from trips in June of 2008 (covering the north and south), October 2007 (the north), June 2007 (the south) and October 2006 (north and south).
Those of you who have followed along over the years know that I'll be blogging during my trip, with detailed notes on wines tasted at the domaines. And as usual, there will be no scores, as the wines are not tasted blind during these visits. Rather, I think it's more important to describe the winemaker's style and how they make their respective wines, as well as the style of the vintage, all while giving a general assessment on the quality, rather than join the parade of numbers posted on wines that may not even be for sale yet.
I'll provide plenty of links referencing background on the domaines that I have visited in the past and there will be some new faces on this trip as well. I'll be focusing primarily on the 2007 vintage in the south, though I will make a few stops in the northern half of the valley as well.
Most of the major wines from 2007 are now bottled and have started to settle in while some of the lesser appellations and cuvées are just starting to make their way to the market here now, so it's a good time to make a final run-through before formally reviewing the finished wines from bottle, via blind tastings held in my office in New York. It all culminates in my annual tasting report on the region, which typically runs in the Nov. 30 issue of the magazine.
Before I delve into my first batch of visits (I'll be visiting about three dozen domaines over a 10-day stretch), you may want to refresh yourself on my earlier look at the 2007 vintage in the Southern Rhône, which you can reference via initial vintage analysis, as well as this column from last fall. You can also reference my early vintage analysis on the '07 northern wines as well.
William Keene — North Carolina — February 24, 2009 3:09pm ET
Glenn Keeler — OC, CA — February 24, 2009 6:03pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — February 24, 2009 7:27pm ET
Morgan Dawson — Rochester, NY — February 24, 2009 8:47pm ET
James Molesworth — February 25, 2009 1:54am ET
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