France

Rhone Valley as two distinct regions. The Southern Rhone, which represents the lion’s share of the wine produced between the two, is a warm, dry terroir where Grenache is king, all the way from affordable Cotes-du-Rhone to the exalted Chateauneuf-du-Pape. These are often richly-fruited wines with lots of garrigue spice and a hint of barnyard. The red wines of the Northern Rhone are almost exclusively based on Syrah. Here, appellations like Saint-Joseph, Cornas, and Cote-Rotie show a heady side of this complicated grape. Savory notes of bacon fat, black pepper, violets, and olive tapenade are often seen in these intense, brooding wine. The Bert to the Southern Rhone’s Ernie.

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