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Smooth, Velvety, Wintertime Châteauneuf. $35

With winter weather here for the foreseeable future, we’re pleased to be well stocked on rich Southern Rhône reds. We have plenty of ideas from Séguret and Gigondas, but sometimes the most obvious answer is also the best. With that in mind we’re suggesting Châteauneuf-du-Pape today: the vinous equivalent of comfort food.

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“Brilliant” 97-point Cornas: Magnificent 2019 Northern Rhône Syrah

Cornas is a tiny appellation. It covers 145 hectares (compared with Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s 3,000+), and is home to fewer than 50 vignerons. The name comes from the Celtic word for “burnt earth,” and it’s an appropriate moniker: Cornas is pure Syrah like the rest of the Northern Rhône, but the feel is of something sunnier from further South.

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Sleek, Inky New 2019 Gigondas from Goubert. $29

Readers of these posts will know of our enthusiasm for the 2019 reds from Burgundy and the Northern Rhône Valley – a hot, dry growing season produced wines with excellent concentration and gorgeous fruit. Provided growers could manage to achieve balance through harvest timing and vineyard techniques, the wines are some of the most exciting we’ve tasted in years.

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Gorgeous, Perfumed 2017 Côte Rôties: 92-95 pts

The Northern Rhône produces the world’s most complex and balanced expressions of Syrah. Particularly in Côte Rôtie, at the region’s northern limit, the wines combine inky, black, masculine fruit with extraordinary lift and finesse. Our producer in Côte Rôtie is Christophe Bonnefond, who seems to make more impressive and well-balanced wines each year.

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Dazzling, Cozy Gigondas to Rival Châteauneuf

Mother Nature tends to be a bit friendlier to the winemakers of the Southern Rhône. There’s plenty of sun and warmth, the grape varietals are generally hardy, and the northwesterly Mistral wind keeps the grapes dry and maladies at bay. It’s still hard work, but lots of winemakers we know in Burgundy look longingly at the conditions to their south.

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Bold, Exciting New St-Joseph under $40

Both the Northern and Southern Rhône Valleys borrow their name from the Rhône River, but there’s more than just 70 miles between them. Each region has its own history, rules, and feel. In the North nearly all the reds are unblended Syrah; in the South, Syrah shares the stage with Grenache, Mourvèdre, and a host of others. The styles, climates,…

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Gorgeous, Velvety 93-point Gigondas: “Remarkable Value”

For years, Gigondas was a savvy wine collector’s secret: near-Châteauneuf-level complexity and richness, at a substantial discount. But even as its name has spread and prices have crept up, the price-value ratio in Gigondas remains unusually good. As Vinous’s Josh Raynolds put it after tasting several hundred cuvées recently, “in the context of the world’s best wines, almost every Gigondas…