2019 RHÔNE REPORT & EN PRIMEUR OFFER

 


Cornas Clape 2019


To buy these wines telephone Yapp Brothers on 01747 860423 or email bianca@yapp.co.uk.
Payment should be made by debit or credit card at the time of order. We will confirm your order with an invoice and discuss your delivery and storage options.
The en primeur offer closes on Sunday 10th January 2021, but we would advise you to contact us now to secure your preferences.

Vintage Overview

Despite a warm, arid growing season the 2019 vintage was a great success in both the Northern and Southern Rhône. Although the rainfall was low, early spring and August rains refreshed the vines and prevented them from becoming stressed. The appéllation that 'lost out' in terms of volume harvested was Crozes-Hermitage, whose southern sector was hit by a malevolent hailstorm on 15th June that damaged large quantities of ripening fruit. Qualitatively, we believe that 2019 sits in the middle of an unprecedented vintage run for the region as a whole: above 2017 & 2018, but below 2015 & 2016.

Unfortunately, quarantine restrictions put paid to our annual tasting trip through the Rhône in October, but we have been fortunate to obtain cask samples from growers and (as seen below) feedback from key critics has been enthusiastic.

"Still, 2019 is clearly a vintage of extremely high quality and marks the fifth straight stellar year for the region. A number of producers who aren't prone to hyperbole told me they think 2019 and 2015 are the most impressive of this recent run of great years, but for different reasons. It's rare to find real freshness and detail in wines from a year that was as hot and rain-bereft as 2019, but paradoxically, that's indeed the case."
Josh Reynolds - vinous.com on Northern Rhône 2019

"I'll review these wines in depth next year, but in short, 2019 appears to be a beautiful, possibly exceptional, vintage for the Southern Rhône and is superior to 2018."
Jeb Dunnuck - jebdunnuck.com on Southern Rhône 2019

During a tempestuous year, fine wine has once again proved to be a calming presence; both for enjoyment purposes and as an investment. Wine prices held firm in March as stock indices around the world plunged 25% and, in May, the Bordeaux 2019 en primeur campaign was the most successful for years (assisted by long overdue price corrections from the châteaux). Rhône wines, from top to bottom, continue to offer some of the greatest rapport qualité-prix as neatly summarised in the 'Extended Q4 2020 Report' from leading wine-trading platform Liv-ex, titled 'The Rhône: Solid as a Rock':
"The US market has appreciated the Rhône for a long time, helped in part by critical appraisal from Robert Parker and now Jeb Dunnuck. In Asia, it has not achieved such widespread appeal. Buyers who understand it seem to love it. And they have many reasons to cheer: lower prices, consistent excellence in quality, a broadening market, and a shelter from any financial storm. Few fine wine regions deliver on quite so many fronts."

Jason and Tom Signatures
Jason & Tom

Northern Rhône

CÔTE-RÔTIE

"2019 NORTHERN RHÔNE is an exceptional vintage at CÔTE-RÔTIE, so be ready! There the SYRAH wines are full, but have flair, generous delivery, lovely length, real flow, and good structure. They are not sunstruck for the most part, either. Of course, they are no longer 13.5°, more like 14.5° (OK for export to the USA, thus!), but it is a really, really good year. Across the board, it beats 2018. Prepare your finances. You have been warned."
John Livingstone-Learmonth - drinkrhone.com

Patrick Jasmin
4th generation winemaker, Patrick Jasmin, has the advantage of owning 12 different parcels of vines running across 8 lieu-dits on the Côte Brune and Blonde escarpments, which gives him an enviably broad palette of fruit to work with.

His vines are planted in a field blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier that are hand-harvested and undergo a very traditional fermentation and 3 week cuvaison in cement vats (since 1996 the grapes have been de-stemmed which has improved colour). The parcels are vinified separately prior to blending at the end of December and then aged for up to 2 years in 228 litre and 590 litre oak barrels (with up to 25% being new, originating from France, Russia & the USA). There is no fining and only a light filtration. Approximately 2,000 cases are produced in a typical vintage.

The name 'La Giroflarie' appeared on the label in 2016, to distinguish this principal cuvée from a special cuvée called 'Olea' that Patrick first made in 2015. 'La Giroflarie' is an historic name for the Côte Baudin lieu-dit.

Côte-Rôtie 'Giroflarie' 2019 @ £312 per case (of 12 bottles) IB
Côte-Rôtie 'Giroflarie' 2019 @ £330 per case (of 6 magnums) IB

"Very dark garnet robe with a baked black fruit and wild herb bouquet. A lovely core of racy red and black fruit with spicy undertones and good tannic structure. This is very well-balanced and surprisingly accessible on its youthful fruit but should be at its best with 5-10+ years bottle age. 19/20."
Jason Yapp

"(used 500-litre cask, this is close to the final blend) dark red; the nose is bouncy, good vibration red fruit, well measured depth. The palate runs elegantly, has good drive, more liberty than 2018 seemingly. The tannins are precise, fine, the close fresh. Its style is aromatic. The 2019 here isn't obviously too dense. The pH is 3.85 or so – indicating the heat and general low acidity of the vintage."
John Livingstone-Learmonth - drinkrhone.com

CÔTE-RÔTIE

Domaine Champet
Romain & Max Champet run this family estate of 4 hectares of vines that lie in a single block in the Viallière lieu-dit, just to the north of Ampuis. Situated exclusively on the clay-based Côte Brune this is a traditional estate producing single vineyard wine of great typicality.

Côte-Rôtie 2019 @ £288 per case (of 12 bottles) IB
"Dark purple colour. Dense black fruit aromas with subtle hints of spice. Baked black fruit on the palate with hints of game and pepper and rugged tannins that will soften with 3-5+ years bottle age. This is a powerful effort but it is well-balanced and will be terrific with food. 17/20."
Jason Yapp
 

Cote Rotie Champet - Crozes Hermitage Graillot

CROZES-HERMITAGE

Domaine Alain Graillot
Established in 1985, the Graillots' Crozes-Hermitage vineyards now comprise 17 hectares of Syrah vines and 3ha of Marsanne and Roussanne, which surround their cellars at 'Les Chênes Verts' (a former pig farm) on the Chassis plateau between Tain l'Hermitage and Pont l'Isère. The estate is now ably run by Alain's sons, Max and Antoine, and their red Crozes' is regarded as the archetype of the AOC. Grapes are vinified with their stems (20-30% whole grapes) for three weeks in stainless steel vats, preceded by a cold maceration without sulphur. The wine is then racked off its lees with up to 50% being aged in small, young Burgundy casks before being blended and bottled a year or so later.
Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2019 @ £198 per case (of 12 bottles) IB
Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2019 @ £216 per case (of 6 magnums) IB

Spice-driven dark berry, cherry, peony and licorice aromas are sharpened by a zesty mineral flourish. Fleshy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors turn sweeter with air and pick up a smoky nuance on the back half. Shows fine definition and energy and finishes spicy and quite long, displaying gently chewy tannins and a resonating floral quality. 91-93/100."
Josh Raynolds - vinous.com
 


CORNAS

Domaine Clape
Despite their growing fame, you could not meet a more humble family than the Clapes, who farm 5.38 hectares of vines at Cornas, with further parcels classed as Côtes-du-Rhône and Saint-Péray. Although there have been Clapes at Cornas for at least 250 years, Auguste (1925-2018) was a first-generation vigneron, having acquired his vines through marriage to his wife Henriette. His first vintage was in 1949 and he was the first independent vigneron in Cornas to begin domaine bottling his own wines in the early 1950s. Auguste was joined by his (then 40 year-old) son Pierre in 1989 and grandson Olivier in 2002. The entire Clape operation is infused with a sense of cautious modesty and genial simplicity: they have secured a profound international reputation by consistently producing top quality wine.

The Clape wines are predominantly sold on allocation, but if you are new to them, please contact us and we will endeavour to find you some.

Vin des Amis 2019 @ £108 per case (of 6 bottles) IB
"Produced from just one hectare of vines planted on flatter, clay soils just outside the Cornas appellation between the road and the river, this humble 'wine of friends' is labelled as a Vin de France, first receiving a vintage reference in 2009. Nevertheless, it provides a striking entry point to the domaine's portfolio. 16.5/20. Drink 2020-30."
Jason Yapp

Côtes-du-Rhône 2019 @ £126 per case (of 6 bottles) IB
"Hailing from one hectare of mature rootstock at the bottom of the hill of Cornas (at times, it has included some declassified Cornas), the Côtes du Rhône is a dense, concentrated wine with black fruit and game aromas that will sweeten and soften with up to 10 years bottle age. 17/20."
Jason Yapp

Cornas 'Renaissance' 2019 @ £240 per case (of 6 bottles) IB
"Intensely perfumed, mineral-driven dark fruit and violet scents, along with a smoky element and a hint of cured tobacco. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering lively cassis, cherry preserve and floral pastille flavors and a hint of dark chocolate. Closes very long and spicy, with a repeating cherry note and steadily building tannins. 92-94/100."
Josh Raynolds, vinous.com

Cornas 2019 @ £372 per case (of 6 bottles) IB
"A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe black/blue fruits, candied flowers, olive paste, smoked meat, incense and potpourri, and mineral and earth notes appear as the wine opens up. Stains the palate with intense, spice- and mineral-accented bitter cherry, dark chocolate and violet pas-tille flavors that show wonderful definition and back-end cut. Velvety, slow-building tannins add shape to an extremely long, subtly chewy finish that delivers real power and mineral drive. 96-98/100."
Josh Raynolds, vinous.com
 


Hermitage 2018 - Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

HERMITAGE & SAINT-JOSEPH

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

The Chave wines' long élévage means that they are released later than the majority of their peers. We will release the 2018 Hermitage and Saint Joseph from Domaine Jean-Louis Chave in March 2021 on an allocation basis. Again, if you are interested in the wines, please contact us.

Hermitage Blanc 2018
"I was able to taste the 2018 Hermitage Blanc from multiple barrels and tank, and I continue to think Jean-Louis fashions one of the greatest whites on planet earth. Gorgeous white flowers, honeysuckle, ripe quince, and toasted almond notes dominate the bouquet, and it has that rare mix of richness and opulence paired with incredible purity, freshness, and focus. It has a wealth of material yet also shows the vintage's more rounded, sexy style. Plan on drinking bottles on release and over the following 2-4 years or hold off for a decade. It's certainly in the same ballpark as the 2017. 96-98/100."
Jeb Dunnuck - jebdunnuck.com

Hermitage Rouge 2018
"Lastly, the 2018 Hermitage is still resting in its individual components, and it's such an education tasting through the samples from Bessards, Péléat, Méal, and Beaumes. In some years, each terroir is easy to see (the spice and complexity from Péléat, the opulence from the Méal, etc.), yet in 2018, the Méal was more structured and inward and the l'Ermite was shockingly opulent and powerful. The crème de la crème was the sample from Les Bessards, and wine doesn't get any better than that in my opinion. Regardless, all the samples possess incredible quality and show classic, powerful aromatics reminiscent of a classic, almost cooler year paired with massive richness, depth, and structure on the palate. Possibly coming closest in my mind to a hypothetical mix of the 2009 and 2010, this is a legendary Chave Hermitage in the making. 98-100."
Jeb Dunnuck - jebdunnuck.com

Saint Joseph Rouge 2018
"Looking at the 2018 from barrel, I was able to taste two barrel samples of the 2018 Saint-Joseph. It's largely in the same style as the 2017 and just textbook Saint-Joseph with its darker, mineral-laced fruits and smoked meat and pepper aromas and flavors. It's beautifully done, medium to full-bodied, and will drink nicely in its youth yet also age. 92-94/100."
Jeb Dunnuck - jebdunnuck.com
 

Chateauneuf du Pape 2019

Southern Rhône and Provence

CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE

"After the vast challenges presented by mildew in 2018, notably at appellations such as CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE and CAIRANNE, the healthy harvest of 2019 came as a blessed relief to growers. A dry and very hot summer has marked the wines, which are full of packed content, robust and firm in style."
John Livingstone-Learmonth - drinkrhone.com

Le Vieux Donjon

The estate, now very capably managed by brother and sister François and Clare, comprises 18 hectares of vines (one-third of which are over 100 years old) across six different lieux-dits. They make just one white wine and one red. The red is picked from 17 hectares of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre & Cinsault that are vinified together in concrete and partly aged in concrete (20%) and partly in old oak foudres (80%).

Cháteauneuf-du-Pape rouge 2019 @ £312 per case (of 12 bottles) IB
Châteauneuf-du-Pape rouge 2019 @ £330 per case (of 6 magnums) IB

"Limpid purple robe and garrigue berry aromas with hints of spice and pepper. A concentrated core of black and red fruit that is very well-balanced with a long finish and tight tannins that will support 5-10 years bottle age. This has power and finesse in equal measure and shows the appéllation in a very pure light. Terrific. 18.5/20."
Jason Yapp

"A beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, classic effort from this team, the 2019 Châteauneuf du Pape boasts a deeper ruby/purple color, traditional notes of ground pepper, Provençal garrigue, smoked meat, and red and black fruits, a terrific mid-palate, ripe, silky tannins, and a great, great finish. This is an outstanding vintage for this cuvée that's going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 20 years or more. 94-96+/100."
Jeb Dunnuck - jebdunnuck.com
 


Domaine de Trévallon 2019

IGP LES ALPILLES

Domaine de Trévallon

Bottled as a simple 'Indication Géographique Protégée' Eloi Dürrbach's iconic Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon blend technically lies in Provence, but has strong ties to the Rhône in terms of geography, wine-making and esprit. Low yields (25-30 hl/ha) and no chemical intervention give thick-skinned grapes that need 2-3 weeks cuvaison. The parcels of grapes are allowed a warm fermentation (using only indigenous yeasts) in small oak foudres where they rest for 18 months before an unfiltered, unfined assemblage and eventual bottling 25 months after the harvest.

Domaine de Trévallon rouge 2019 @ £240 per case (of 6 bottles) IB
Domaine de Trévallon rouge 2019 @ £480 per case (of 6 magnums) IB
"Deep purple colour with a bright bouquet of stewed autumnal fruit with spicy undertones and a harmonious palate of ripe plums and damsons with really well-integrated tannins, an uplifting acidity and persistent finish. This has great balance and at least 10 years ageing potential. Impressive. 18/20."
Jason Yapp

How en primeur works

Rhône 2019 wines en primeur

En primeur wines are offered for purchase now, with delivery in 2020 and 2021.
These Rhône 2019 en primeur wines are offered per case (of either 6 or 12) and 'in bond' ('IB'), exclusive of duty and VAT.
To buy these wines you need to telephone Yapp Brothers. Payment should be made by debit or credit card at the time of order. We will confirm your order with an invoice and discuss your delivery and storage options.
The en primeur offer closes on Sunday 10th January 2021, but we would advise you to contact us now to secure your preferences.

Terms & Conditions for en primeur purchases
1. A contract will come into existence between Yapp Brothers Ltd ('Yapp') and the Buyer when an invoice is raised and payment is taken by Yapp. Payment will be due immediately when an invoice is raised.
2. Yapp's 'no quibble' consumer guarantee applies to en primeur sales in the sense that the Buyer has the right to change their mind within fourteen days of the creation of this contract.
3. Title to all wines shall remain with Yapp until all sums due from the Buyer are cleared in full (including any applicable VAT, duty, storage and delivery charges).
4. Yapp reserves the right to withhold any wines that the Buyer has ordered for non-payment of any invoice.
5. Where any invoice is outstanding for more than 30 days, Yapp reserves the right to cancel the contract.
6. Risk of loss or damage to Goods shall pass to the Buyer when the Goods are physically delivered to or collected by the Buyer (or their agent).
7. If the Buyer is making their own arrangements for the storage, delivery or collection of the wine (as opposed to keeping it with Yapp), the Buyer agrees to notify Yapp of any defects in the wines within 30 days of the wine being released and after this period the Buyer will be deemed to have accepted the wines.

Storage & Delivery options when the wine arrives

When the physical wine arrives IB in the UK we will contact you to advise you of any additional payments that are due in respect of duty and VAT (if you are withdrawing the wine from bond), storage or delivery charges, including IB transfer charges.
Your options are as follows:

Wine remaining Under Bond
1. If you have your own bonded arrangements at London City Bond ('LCB') you can advise us of the account details for an IB transfer. No further charge.
2. You can store your wine IB with Yapp Brothers. It will be held in the Yapp Brothers' Client Account at LCB. No further charge. You will, however, be charged storage, currently £12.50 per case, per annum, inc VAT.
3. We can arrange for LCB to deliver your wine IB to another bonded warehouse. Such IB transfers are charged at £15 per case up to 2 cases, £5 per case thereafter and must be paid before the transfer request is actioned. You will also need to advise us of account and warehouse details for the transfer.

Delivering & Storing Wine Duty Paid
4. If you would like us to organise delivery of your wine Duty Paid, we will do so under our normal delivery terms. In most cases this will mean no delivery charge.
5. You can store your wine at Yapp Brothers' premises Duty Paid, currently £12.50 per case per annum, inc VAT.
6. When wine that has been held IB is withdrawn from a bonded warehouse, you will be charged duty and VAT at the prevailing rates on the original cost of the wine. The current duty rate is £26.78 per case and the VAT rate is 20%. Therefore, the current duty and VAT on a £200 case of wine withdrawn from bond would be £72.13. (n.b. you pay VAT on the cost of the wine including duty)