This is a carousel with zoom. Use the thumbnails to navigate, or jump to a slide. Use the zoom button to zoom into a image.

Costières de Nîmes La Ciboise, Chapoutier 2020

Red Wine from France - Rhone
From a stony plateau outside Nîmes in the south of France. This is an exuberantly fruity grenache-syrah blend, rich and full-bodied with a touch of spice and a flavour of ripe plums.
Price: £9.50 Bottle
Price: £57.00 Case of 6
In Stock
Code: RH60321

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Grenache Syrah
  • 14.5% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Now to 2024
  • 75cl
  • Cork, natural

Southern Rhône (excluding Chateauneuf)

Producing over 3.5m hl (hectolitres), this is the second biggest region for production of appellation contrôlée wine in France after Bordeaux. Most is red, though production of both white and pink is growing. Some 20 grape varieties are planted in the south though one in particular, Grenache, gives the region as a whole its identity: generosity, body, weight and a definite tendency to making big wines. More than half of the production is of Côtes-du-Rhône with the best sold as Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. Better still are the so-called crus led by Châteauneuf-du-Pape itself.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape: This large area to the north of Avignon makes the best wines of the south. Reds tend to be grenache based with syrah, mourvèdre and counoise also used. Few wines combine immense strength with perfect elegance quite so convincingly. Word of caution: Châteauneuf produces as much wine as the whole of the northern Rhône put together. A third is very good, a third acceptable and the last third,...
Producing over 3.5m hl (hectolitres), this is the second biggest region for production of appellation contrôlée wine in France after Bordeaux. Most is red, though production of both white and pink is growing. Some 20 grape varieties are planted in the south though one in particular, Grenache, gives the region as a whole its identity: generosity, body, weight and a definite tendency to making big wines. More than half of the production is of Côtes-du-Rhône with the best sold as Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. Better still are the so-called crus led by Châteauneuf-du-Pape itself.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape: This large area to the north of Avignon makes the best wines of the south. Reds tend to be grenache based with syrah, mourvèdre and counoise also used. Few wines combine immense strength with perfect elegance quite so convincingly. Word of caution: Châteauneuf produces as much wine as the whole of the northern Rhône put together. A third is very good, a third acceptable and the last third, undrinkable.

Right bank: Villages include Tavel (rosé only) Lirac, Saint-Gervais and Laudun. There is more rain here but it is also hot and grapes are therefore early ripening. Most of the area lies in the département of the Gard and stretches from the river westwards towards Nîmes where at some ill-defined line in the soil, the Rhône becomes the Languedoc. This is an area that has much improved over the years and has become a valuable source for very fine, concentrated syrah wines in particular.

A little further on are the Costieres de Nimes, a large area of upland plateau, south-east of Nîmes. For the moment the Costières produces good everyday wines of good quality but there is potential to do much more.

Northern hills: There are fresh sub-alpine breezes at work here and as a result the wines often have a distinct freshness too. Just north of Orange is the largely wooded and isolated Massif d'Uchaux. Many of its star producers here are able to farm organically.

The three 'Vs' : Valréas, Visan and Vinsobres: These are three top neighbouring villages (with a 4th, Saint-Maurice broadly similar to Vinsobres). Vinsobres has full cru status and makes superb wine. Best names include Perrin, now the largest land owner and Domaine Jaume whose wines have been charming members since the 1979 vintage.

Valréas and Visan are planted on the same hill but tend to look north. Emmanuel Bouchard is one of the top names in Valréas. Adrien Fabre makes both outstanding examples of both Visan and Saint-Maurice.

Tricastin/Grignan-lès-Adhémar - The Tricastin is a much neglected part of the Rhône and coming down from the northern Rhône, these are the first vines one sees. It's a relatively cool area, far too cold for growing mourvèdre successfully, but the whites do very well and so does the syrah grape. The area has seen a name change as Tricastin is also the name of a power station on the river. The new name for the wines (which doesn't exactly trip off the tongue), is Grignan-lès-Adhémar.

Central hills - This includes the villages of Cairanne and Rasteau along with neighbouring Roaix. Big full-bodied wines, grenache dominated. Rasteau is all power and might while Cairanne is more deicate.

Plan de Dieu - Large flat expanse of pudding stones that seem to stretch as far as the eye can see, in the middle of which there is an airfield, (largely built for the Luftwaffe) surrounded by vines. Full-bodied style. Excellent for mourvèdre. Jaboulet are very good here as is the Meffre family.

Eastern fringes - Set against an iconic landscape with Mont Ventoux and the craggy Dentelles de Montmirail as the backdrop, some of these hillsides were first planted by the Romans and include some of the best-known names in the Rhône Valley.

Gigondas: Mountain wine, late harvested, always dramatic and very full-bodied though never coarse or overweight. These are generous reds, capable of long ageing. A little rosé is also made.

Vacqueyras: Next door to Gigondas yet different. Fruitier, a shade less powerful and more obviously charming:

Beaumes de Venise: The red is as full as Gigondas but rounder and less complex and this village is better known for its sweet muscat, a vin doux naturel and perfect for desserts.

Ventoux: At nearly 2000m this is some mountain which scores of cyclists are forced to conquer every year in the Tour de France. Its lower slopes are vineyard country though. Traditionally these were known as Côtes du Ventoux and were made and sold cheaply. Things are changing though with more estates cutting yields and making full and concentrated wine, not dissimilar to and better value than many Châteauneufs.
Read more

Chapoutier

Chapoutier has a long history of wine production in the Rhône Valley having been established in 1808 by a wine broker, Polydor Chapoutier. The business has been passed from father to son over the years, and currently at the helm is Michel Chapoutier. When he took over in the late 1970s, the company was clearly in need of new momentum, its wines largely uninspired and even its prestige brand, Chante-Alouette, a lacklustre blend of different vintages.

When Michel took charge, suddenly everything changed. Today, the Chapoutier is name is known for precision and individuality with each of the top wines expressing a single terroir, and more often than not, a single grape variety. In 1995 Michel brought in biodynamic practices and today all Chapoutier vineyards are farmed in this way. If you see a horse-drawn plough on Hermitage hill, the chances are that will be Chapoutier-owned! Chapoutier is the biggest landowner in Hermitage after the grower’s syndicate, of which, incidentally, Michel is also president. His own 26 own hectares of vineyards in Hermitage, in descending order of size are Bessards, Greffieux, Chapelle, Méal, Muret and Chante-Alouette.

The company also owns vineyards in Cote Rôtie, Saint-Joseph, Crozes and Condrieu, a substantial 27-hectare plot in Châteauneuf and holdings in the Roussillon. Recently, Chapoutier took over the operation of Ferraton, an old-fashioned Tain-based négociant, and transformed it into a boutique house offering very high quality wines....
Chapoutier has a long history of wine production in the Rhône Valley having been established in 1808 by a wine broker, Polydor Chapoutier. The business has been passed from father to son over the years, and currently at the helm is Michel Chapoutier. When he took over in the late 1970s, the company was clearly in need of new momentum, its wines largely uninspired and even its prestige brand, Chante-Alouette, a lacklustre blend of different vintages.

When Michel took charge, suddenly everything changed. Today, the Chapoutier is name is known for precision and individuality with each of the top wines expressing a single terroir, and more often than not, a single grape variety. In 1995 Michel brought in biodynamic practices and today all Chapoutier vineyards are farmed in this way. If you see a horse-drawn plough on Hermitage hill, the chances are that will be Chapoutier-owned! Chapoutier is the biggest landowner in Hermitage after the grower’s syndicate, of which, incidentally, Michel is also president. His own 26 own hectares of vineyards in Hermitage, in descending order of size are Bessards, Greffieux, Chapelle, Méal, Muret and Chante-Alouette.

The company also owns vineyards in Cote Rôtie, Saint-Joseph, Crozes and Condrieu, a substantial 27-hectare plot in Châteauneuf and holdings in the Roussillon. Recently, Chapoutier took over the operation of Ferraton, an old-fashioned Tain-based négociant, and transformed it into a boutique house offering very high quality wines. Huge new cellars have been completed outside Tain to accommodate the increasing needs of the business, although Chapoutier’s ambition is not confined to the Rhône valley. Michel’s interests are far reaching, his contacts in Australia notably including premium producer Langi Ghiran in Victoria. He is well travelled, simultaneously open-minded and opinionated and passionate about fine wines, wherever they may originate, good food, fast cars and loud music.

Perhaps Michel’s most inspired idea was to make Braille a feature of each Chapoutier label, with information on the wine, its colour, appellation, winemaker and vintage for the benefit of blind and partially-sighted customers. He was moved to introduce this in 1996, upon hearing a blind musician friend explain that he had to take someone shopping with him in order to identify each bottle of wine. The gesture is the perfect tribute to the Sizeranne family, original owners of a plot of Hermitage vines now under Chapoutier’s control.Maurice de La Sizeranne was the inventor of the first version of abbreviated Braille and founder of the French Association for the Blind.
Read more
2020 vintage reviews
2019 vintage reviews
2018 vintage reviews

Recommended for you

Back to top