It has been a long time since I did a deep dive into any one wine region. Back in the day I would spend a week or more going from village to village tasting many different producers. Other times it would be at massive wine events like Vinisud and Decouvertes du Rhone where I had the same opportunity to compare and contrast the producers and the vintages, much like the way a buyer or a sommelier does. That's what the past week in the Rhone Valley has been.
And here are my observations..
2016 Rose and Whites are home runs both north and south for the whites and clearly the rose wines in the south.
2016 Northern Rhone Whites, especially Hermitage are killer.
2015 Northern Rhones Reds are dynamic. Best are Cornas and Cote-Rotie, but time will aid the patient with the many of the Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and St. Josephs. You just need to wait and taste them again in six months.
2014 Chateauneuf du Papes are like Burgundy. It is the most Pinot Noir like vintage I have tasted in at least 20 years. Here again patience is required.
2015 Chateauneuf du Papes are from a massive, blockbuster vintage. These are very reminiscent to the 1989's which means not only do they require time, but careful buying. 2016s are going to be even better.
2015 Southern Rhone Reds--The Beaumes de Venise, Rasteau, Ventoux, Vacluse, Seguret, Plan de Dieu and Cairanne appellations are all producing fantastic wines of all colors and varietals. Great values and long term aging. Perhaps some of the most interesting white wines around are coming from the Ventoux, Vaucluse and Beaumes de Venise regions that align themselves so well.
2016 Rose--just buy all you can, especially from the producers in Tavel....