Emmanuel Reynaud - Chateau Rayas, Chateauneuf du pape, Cotes du Rhone
Together with Henri Bonneau and château de Beaucastel, Rayas is the « Myth » of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. With outstanding finesse, richness and complexity, this wine is chased by wine lovers worldwide as the « purple diamond ».
Rodolphe de Pins - Chateau de Montfaucon, Cotes du Rhone
First Australia and California, then Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and now the Cotes du Rhone : Rodolphe de Pins has conquered the critics with a great Cotes du Rhone, the cuvee he calls Baron Louis. This rising-star vintner is regularly singled out by the Le Guide Hachette, Le Guide des Sommeliers, Winart, and the The Australian Wine Gourmet. A must buy for fans of the southern Rhone!
Louis Barruol - Chateau de Saint Cosme, Gigondas, southern Rhone and northern Rhone
Louis is one of the most talented of the latest generation of vintners. His Gigondas offerings are exceptional, and his whole range of “negociant-eleveur” wines is tops, from the versatile Little James table wine to rich and rewarding natives of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and the Cote Rotie. It looks like Louis has the vintner’s, wine-red, version of the gardener’s green thumb!
Andre Romero - Domaine La Soumade, Rasteau
The wines of La Soumade are among the finest you can find in the southern Rhone and Andre Romero is deservedly known as the “star of Rasteau”. He recently hired the Bordelais oenologist Stephane Derenoncourt with the aim of adding to the complexity and elegance of all his wines, each of which reflects one facet or another of their demanding but open-minded maker.
Jean-Baptiste Meunier - Moulin de la Gardette, Gigondas
Surely one of my all-time favorite Gigondas. Jean-Baptiste vinified in California’s Napa Valley (Diamond Creek) then returned to his family estate in Gigondas : sixty-something stock growing in the perfect soil at the perfect altitude. It’s been twenty years now, and I have yet to tire of this exceptional vintner’s elegant, full-bodied wines.
Paul and Edith Chaudiere - Chateau Pesquie, Cotes du Ventoux
The wine guides agree: Chateau Pesquie rates superstar status. The Chaudieres offer wines for every occasion, from the sprightly Cuvee des Terrasses to their pride and joy, Quintessence. Paul is among the pioneers proving the outstanding potential to be found on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.
Jean-Paul Autard - Domaine Paul Autard, Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Some of the great wines to be found in Chateauneuf-du-Pape are produced by this domaine, in the Autard family for five generations. A rising star, Jean-Paul is especially proud of his Cote Ronde, a generous, elegant classic, distinguished by its creamy texture and powerful finish.
Jean-Francois Meyrit - Domaine Les Clefs d'Or, chateauneuf-du pape
Jean-Francois Meyrit produced strong efforts in the recent years in this renowned Chateauneuf du Pape estate. 24 hectares of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, Counoise and Vaccarese located on a wonderful hillside terroir. Full-bodied and harmonious wines, fairly priced (it is becoming a rare quality in Chateauneuf).
Francois Collard - Chateau Mourgues du Gres, Costieres de Nimes
Francois Collard produces what may be the best value found in the southern Rhone region: Galets Rouges (referring to the sun-soaked stones that give the grapes their exceptional intensity), made from Grenache and Syrah. His two other reds, Terre d'Argence and Capitelles, are among the best Syrahs that Costieres can offer; and his fresh-fruit roses and whites are first-rate. Mourgues du Gres is, in a word, a must-buy.
Thierry Boudinaud - Vignobles Boudinaud and Grange des Rouquette, Cotes du Rhone and Vin de Pays d’Oc
Thierry Boudinaud has acquired in-depth experience as a vintner in both hemispheres. His distinctive, balanced style -- fruit-oriented, complex, and elegant -- is evident across the whole range of his reds and whites, which are regularly cited by The Wine Advocate and awarded Coup de Coeur by The Guide Hachette.
Thomas Montagne - Chateau de Clapier, Cotes du Luberon
Thomas Montagne is a young vintner who produces fine fruit-oriented Cotes du Luberon. His whites are among the very best wines of the appellation, and his reds are medium-bodied with notes of red fruits and Provence herbs. Both are excellent values.
Catherine Le Goeuil - Domaine Le Goeuil, Cairanne
Catherine Le Goeuil uses organic methods to produce one of the great values to come out of Cairanne. Catherine’s love of flowers is reflected in the fragrance of her wines; berries, both red and black, are another key theme. Full-bodied, round, and aromatic, the wines of Domaine Le Goeuil define the new southern Rhone style.
Courbis' Brothers - Domaine Courbis , Cornas and Saint-Joseph
A family-run domaine, dating from the sixteenth century. Pay a visit to their vineyards, especially to those in the spectacular arena des Royes, on the outskirts of Saint Joseph, and you will understand why they inspire others among the latest generation of vintners to be found in the northern Rhone region. A happy marriage of sun and soil enjoyed by both their Cornas and their Saint-Joseph vines brings out hints of stone and black and red fruits, all the more defined thanks to the wine’s purity and concentration. Courbis top cuvee La Sabarotte is an outstanding Cornas.
Francois Tardy - Domaine des Entrefaux, Crozes-Hermitage
Les Entrefaux is regularly cited by critics as one of the best domaines of Crozes-Hermitage. His whites, particularly the cuvee Les Pends, combine freshness, body, and complexity. His reds are intense and meaty. His new red Les Pends (it debuted only last year), planted on steep slopes close to the Hermitage hill, promises to be one of the truly great reds of Crozes-Hermitage, thanks to its exceptional terroir. Francoi’s cuvee Les Machonnieres is already a classic among Crozes reds.
Louis Drevon - Domaine des Rosiers, Cote Rotie
The seven hectares (about seventeen acres) that compose this choice little vineyard are named for the hamlet in Ampuis where they are to be found. Louis Drevon is a reserved and meticulous vintner, and his wines seduce the palate by means of their refined but ample character, heightened by notes of fresh, ripe fruit, violets and slate.