Ardèche Wine

Ardèche wines

Ardèche Wine

The numerous small-holdings in the hills of the Ardèche that are well-served by efficient and established Cave Co-opératives collectively furnish some very well-made and competitively-priced wines that have become mainstays of this list. The Union des Vignerons Ardéchois operation, based in Ruoms, 18 kilometres south of Aubenas, is a default destination for characterful, single-varietal bottlings and über-reliable blends. Their red and white 'Les Terrasses' cuvées, that are blended from Merlot-Grenache Noir and Grenache Blanc- Sauvignon respectively, are both well-balanced, clean and fruity and intended to be jolly palatable with or without food. Commendably, they are bottled under screw-cap to conserve their youthful vigour, making them an ideal option for entertaining on a small or grand scale. A pure Chardonnay that is mid-weight, un-oaked and redolent of ripe orchard fruit looks very good value compared with anything emanating from the Côte d'Or on a similar budget. A sibling Viognier also has bags of varietal character with tropical fruit scents and flavours and an elegant dry finish. It makes an uplifting aperitif or partner to spicy Asiatic dishes.

The team at Ruoms are equally adept at producing attractive reds. The Cabernet Sauvignon has classic cassis and pencil shaving aromas and a juicy, berry-infused palate supported by fine-grained tannins. It's a failsafe red to have knocking around the kitchen to augment stews and fortify washer-uppers. A pure Pinot Noir is lighter both in colour and taste with lots of ripe, raspberry fruit and subtle wood-smoke aromas. It drinks well lightly-chilled and would make a perfect accompaniment to gilled pigeon breasts or freshly-foraged morels. The Union's extensive reach also takes in a blameless Côtes du Vivarais 'Réserve' bottling which is blended from Syrah and Grenache and has lots of dark, autumnal fruit with a backdrop of peppery tannins.

A more esoteric Grignan-les-Adhémar (formerly known as Coteaux du Tricastin) is made from a blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan. It is an honest, country red that makes a fine partner for coarse pâtés or cassoulet.

The highly-regarded Cave de Saint-Désirat, which is located slap-bang in the centre of the Northern Rhône beside the busy Route Nationale 86, is celebrated as a source of keenly-priced Syrah but also bottles an excellent Gamay de l'Ardèche that has a long and loyal following among the Yapp cognoscenti. It has a bright, red berry bouquet and a ripe redcurrant and raspberry palate with pleasant peppery undertones and lends itself well to al fresco imbibing.

The anomaly on this page, in that it is made by a vigneronne independent and not a co-operative, is Christine Vernay's unimpeachable Syrah 'La Mirbaudie'. Although a humble IGP 'Collines Rhodaniennes', it is from mature rootstock grown in close proximity to Côte- Rôtie, so is something of a wolf in sheep's clothing. With an enticing nose of stewed black berries and a glossy palate of rich, dark fruit and well integrated oak, it drinks beautifully from release but will cellar well for 3-5 years.

  • Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cépage Chardonnay 2013

    Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cépage Chardonnay 2013

    A refreshing, unoaked Chardonnay from the Ardèche, a happy hunting ground for well-made and keenly priced wines. It's a stalwart crowd-pleaser that's ideal for serving at buffets and drinks parties.

    • Bottle £9.95
    • Bottle Case £119.40
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  • Gamay: Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche 2013

    Gamay: Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche 2013

    This Gamay Vin de Pays de l'Ardèche (VDP) from the Cave de Saint-Désirat co-opérative drinks well lightly-chilled in the Summer and makes a fine accompaniment to all manner of picnics, barbecues and light lunches.

    • Bottle £9.75
    • Bottle Case £117.00
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  • Syrah: De Mirbaudie 2013

    Syrah: De Mirbaudie 2013

    Vibrant, fruity, youthful Syrah from Domaine Georges Vernay with a generous concentration of supple, brambly fruit, good cedar and sandalwood aromas, and a ripe, rounded, spicy mid-palate with diverse flavours of plums, cassis, and coffee over soft and smooth tannins.

    • Bottle £15.50
    • Bottle Case £186.00
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  • Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cépage Viognier 2013

    Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cépage Viognier 2013

    This Viognier merits special commendation as it is a difficult grape to grow and vinify, and this version from Vignerons Ardéchois has lovely exotic fruit characteristics and a finesse that belies its modest price tag. Light enough to be drunk on its own as an aperitif, it has enough weight to take fish, poultry and substantial salads in its stride.

    • Bottle £10.50
    • Bottle Case £126.00
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  • Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Les Terrasses Blanc 2013

    Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Les Terrasses Blanc 2013

    This terrific, crisp all-rounder has deservedly become one of our 'go to' recommendations for parties, receptions and events. It has a subtle bouquet of citrus fruit with hints of herbs and a zesty, dry, unoaked palate.

    • Bottle £8.75
    • Bottle Case £105.00
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  • Côtes du Vivarais 2013

    Côtes du Vivarais 2013

    A full-bodied, earthy, dry, red Rhône wine. This Côtes du Vivarais wine has a bouquet of dark hedgerow berries that precedes a full-bodied palate of black fruit with warming undertones of earth and spices.

    • Bottle £9.95
    • Bottle Case £119.40
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  • Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

    This straight Cabernet Sauvignon from the Ardèche is one of our most popular red wines and exhibits plenty of varietal character. With bright blackcurrant aromas and a plummy, mid-weight palate with a fresh acidity, it has a terrific 'rapport qualité prix' and would give many a Petit Château Claret a good run for its money.

    • Bottle £8.95
    • Bottle Case £107.40
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  • Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Les Terrasses Rouge 2013

    Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Les Terrasses Rouge 2013

    A cherry-coloured red wine, hailing from a blend of Merlot and Grenache Noir with soft, forest fruit flavours that has proven to be a versatile and popular option.

    • Bottle £8.75
    • Bottle Case £105.00
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  • Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cépage Pinot Noir 2013

    Coteaux de l'Ardèche: Cépage Pinot Noir 2013

    A youthful Pinot Noir which has subtle strawberry scents and a core of soft, juicy redcurrant fruit with pleasant smoky undertones over gentle tannins. It won’t be harmed by a brief sojourn in an ice bucket.

    • Bottle £9.50
    • Bottle Case £114.00
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