The wine world has justifiably gone head over heels for the 2015 Northern Rhône wines. Flesh, structure, terroir and balance are all present in seductive wines that are in for the long haul. Demand for the wines has vastly outstripped supply and wines that we once cavalierly offered when we felt like it have been tightly allocated. Producers like Guillaume Gilles in Cornas, Levet and Rostaing in Côte Rôtie, which always had their followings, have suddenly become very seriously clamped down on. The world wants 2015 Northern Rhône, and wines which once flew well below the radar, are now hot commodities, fought over and parcelled out like Burgundy.
It makes sense, really. The Northern Rhône has been unjustly overlooked. As the market clamored for Burgundy and then Piemonte, it was only a matter of time before people started noticing just how much value there is in the region. Wines that have freshness and elegance married to depth and power, and yet age effortlessly, really aren’t that easy to come by in the world of fine wine. And with many well under $100, the value proposition is high with French Syrah.
The Rosenthal producers, Levet and Gilles, have been asimmer for several years now. Today, cult status is all but assured. What was once a poorly hidden secret is now at the top of almost every savvy collector’s list. When the Levets and Gilles released this year, I received dozens of phone calls from all over the country, but especially NY. No one could find the wines, which once were widely available.
In addition, Rostaing, whose Côte Blonde and La Landonne are always in demand, suddenly had numerous suitors for the too often overlooked Ampodium. And this, too, was tightly allocated.
Add it all up, and, well, it’s an ugly scene on the Northern Rhône front. Too little wine and too much demand.
But … the 2015s really are that special. So are the 2016s which are waiting in the wings. And we’re super excited to work with these unique and profound producers. We only hope we can match the demand.