I’ve been taking the Rhône Valley “Master Level” program through the Wine Scholar Guild for the past few months, so lately I’ve been completely immersed in all things Rhône related. Which is not a bad place to be!
Although I’m confident in my knowledge of the Northern Rhône, the South hasn’t come quite as easily.
Maybe it’s because there are about 27 permitted grape varieties in the South compared to only four in the North. Or because the Southern Rhône represents a whopping 95% of the area’s total production. But it’s likely due to the fact that one of my best wine days ever occurred last Fall when my hubby & I did a private all day tour of Côte Rôtie and Condrieu. Places I’ve visited in person tend to stick better in my brain.
Whatever the reason, I decided to pick a Southern Rhône Cru at random (congrats Vacqueyras!) and do a more detailed outline on that region. At least then I’m guaranteed to nail exam questions on this area. 😉 Here’s the Vacqueyras outline.
[Note: There was some conflicting information among sources while I was putting together this outline. Since I’m taking the exam through the WSG, I went with their materials – even if they differed from GuildSomm. As a general rule though, I prefer and trust GuildSomm as a resource pretty much above everything else.]
Discrepancy between WSG and GS:
Rosé required blend
Per WSG: Grenache – minimum 60%, Mourvédre & Cinsault – minimum 15%
Per GS: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mourvèdre (but no single variety may account for more than 80%), maximum 10% other varietals allowed for rouge wines