Two southern Rhône reds

A friend who used to work for a well-known UK High Street chain said that before its wine buyers were able to put a name to brettanomyces, they used to say to potential suppliers that they weren’t interested in reds with ‘that Rhône character.’ Both of these could do with a little less of ‘that Rhône character’…

Plan de Dieu-001Château Saint Jean Plan de Dieu, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012, France (£10.95 From Vineyards Direct)
There’s clearly some OK fruit here, but it’s been picked too late, leaving flavours that are heavy rather than vibrant, and there’s also the slightly bandage-like raisin character of brett. C+

Chenes LiracMoulin des Chênes Lirac 2012, Rhône, France (£12.50 WineTrust)
There’s decent plummy blackberry flavour here, plus spicy/herbs notes and truffley richness, but I feel the warmth of alcohol and there’s also a bit of brett that adds a raisinny note. Good but not fine. B(+)


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