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Côtes du Rhône promises "spectacular" 2015 vintage

Published:  12 February, 2016

The 2015 harvest in the Rhône Valley is one of the best in professional memory, Côtes du Rhône Wines is reporting, with reds in particular showing great promise.

Yields were at their ten-year average and, unusually, all the regions varietals delivered consistently in quality and quantity.

Despite a heatwave in July, the vines were in excellent health at harvest, with foliage and fruit both approaching perfect condition. 

Grape skins were thick and high in polyphenols, giving good colour and tannins.

Rainfall in late August helped late-ripening varietals such as Mourvèdre and Carignan achieve outstanding levels of ripeness.

Sugar levels are remarkably good, particularly in the northern vineyards.

The region's white and rosé wines have been exhibiting strong deep aromas, while low acidity is providing them with a distinctive depth and opulence.

Syrahs in the north and Grenaches in the south have produced some stunning cuvées, and the red wines in general have surprised with their intensity of colour and rich tannins.  

Françoise Dijon, manager of the Vineyard Observer, said: "The 2015 harvest in the Rhône Valley was quite exceptional, and combines quality with quantity as yields are back to normal and at near-average levels.

 "To get an idea of the quality of the fruit, you only had to listen to the grape pickers voice their delight at this excellent harvest, where no sorting was needed."