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Grignan-les-Adhémar, Delas 2013

Red Wine from France - Rhone
A lovely grenache-syrah blend from Tricastin at the northern end of the southern Rhône. Amazingly good value from on-form Delas. Dark and vibrant with blackberry fruit.
is no longer available
Code: RH38111

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Grenache Syrah
  • 13.5% Alcohol
  • no oak influence
  • 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.
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Delas Frères

Delas Frères is one of the smaller Rhône négociants. Founded in the 19th century, it maintained its independence until 1978, when it was purchased by the Champagne house, Deutz, now part of Louis Roederer. Its declining reputation was turned around by winemaker Jacques Grange, of Burgundian roots, who came on board in 1997 and was extremely instrumental in improving quality and revitalising an underperforming range. The 1999 vintage in particular was significant as the Delas wines caught the attention of American critic Robert Parker.

Both reds and whites are excellent here. All are very expressive of the terroir, as is Jacques Grange’s aim. Traditionally Delas have been strong in Saint-Joseph where they have marketed reds from the famous Côte Sainte Epine above the cellars at Saint Jean de Muzols. A point of interest here for railway buffs and gourmets alike is an old train line, open during summer, which goes from Tournon up through the gorge of the river Doux to the hill town of Lamastre. Buyer Marcel Orford-Williams says, “I’ve never done it but it looks fun and there is an especially fine one star Michelin restaurant when you get there.”

Delas owns some vineyard sites on Hermitage but the majority is rented from the Marquis de la Tourette, an Ardechois aristocrat. Other holdings still owned by the Delas family include a sizeable plot of Bessards in Hermitage, along with some Côte- Rôtie, Condrieu and, of course, Crozes-Hermitage.

Rhône Vintage 2013

The years go by and no two vintages are ever the same. In 2013, there was no spring. In its place, the cold, wet winter just seemed to go on forever. It wasn’t until July that temperatures began to rise, and suddenly summer arrived. Flowering was poor and the grenache grape suffered especially. The Indian summer, which was never too hot, came as blissful respite for growers who began to wonder whether they would ever be able to pick.

Northern Rhône
The first thing Thierry Allemand said was: ‘At last! A true Cornas vintage’. His wines have virility, lift and an abundance of fruit; there is a definition to the wines that mark them out. 2013 northern Rhône syrah is sleek, succulent and concentrated. The tannins are present but, by and large, they’re ripe. So much so that many growers have gone back to whole-bunch fermentation, stalks and all. Crozes-Hermitage, the portal to understanding Rhône syrah, was outstanding in 2013. Wines from Cornas, Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage will all require...
The years go by and no two vintages are ever the same. In 2013, there was no spring. In its place, the cold, wet winter just seemed to go on forever. It wasn’t until July that temperatures began to rise, and suddenly summer arrived. Flowering was poor and the grenache grape suffered especially. The Indian summer, which was never too hot, came as blissful respite for growers who began to wonder whether they would ever be able to pick.

Northern Rhône
The first thing Thierry Allemand said was: ‘At last! A true Cornas vintage’. His wines have virility, lift and an abundance of fruit; there is a definition to the wines that mark them out. 2013 northern Rhône syrah is sleek, succulent and concentrated. The tannins are present but, by and large, they’re ripe. So much so that many growers have gone back to whole-bunch fermentation, stalks and all. Crozes-Hermitage, the portal to understanding Rhône syrah, was outstanding in 2013. Wines from Cornas, Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage will all require patience, such is the weight of matter in these wines, but it will be rewarded.

Southern Rhône
The south was more challenging. Not only were the yields incredibly low but there was hardly any grenache. What to do? Growers had to adapt, make fewer cuvées and then bring to the world wines with more syrah or mourvedre. So some of these southern 2013s are atypical, with more colour, more grip and more fruit. In some cases, the wines are fractionally less alcoholic too. The results are surprising though uneven and so the line up from the south looks a little different to normal as we too have had to adapt. There is more from Gigondas as unquestioningly 2013 is a great Gigondas vintage. Success in Châteauneuf-du-Pape was also possible: Vincent Avril at Clos des Papes made a great Châteauneuf but did so by severe pruning. He yielded just 13.5hl/ha, a record low at this estate.

The whites - In a word: stunning. From Condrieu in the north all the way down to the Roussillon, 2013 is a stunning white vintage where fruit, grip and concentration combine perfectly.
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2013 vintage reviews
2012 vintage reviews

Top 100 Christmas Wines

Never heard ofGrignan Les Adhémar? Join the club. It’s in Tricastin, towards the northern endof the Rhône Valley, apparently. If this smoky, pepper spicy, blackberryish,unoaked red is any...
Never heard ofGrignan Les Adhémar? Join the club. It’s in Tricastin, towards the northern endof the Rhône Valley, apparently. If this smoky, pepper spicy, blackberryish,unoaked red is any guide, it’s worth keeping an eye on. The grenache adds a bitmore texture here.
Read more

- Tim Atkin

The Daily Mail

This newly renamedappellation (it used to be called Coteaux de Tricastin) might not mean much toyou, but the wines found here are uniformly superb, using the classic Côtes-du-Rhône recipe of...
This newly renamedappellation (it used to be called Coteaux de Tricastin) might not mean much toyou, but the wines found here are uniformly superb, using the classic Côtes-du-Rhône recipe of grenache carefully blended with syrah to great effect. Thiswine has the structure and bravado of a mighty Châteauneuf-du-Pape ineverything but price. Finely selected cheese is calling.
Read more

- Matthew Jukes

matchingfoodandwine.com

One of the problemsabout buying wine these days is that there’s just too much choice. But if I hadto stick to just one wine this Christmas it would be this gutsy red from theRhône... it could...
One of the problemsabout buying wine these days is that there’s just too much choice. But if I hadto stick to just one wine this Christmas it would be this gutsy red from theRhône... it could easily pass for a good Côtes du Rhône Villages). The bigdraw... is the unbelievable price. It’s just £6.95 which for such ahandsome-looking bottle is a complete steal ... it would go with practicallyanything in the way of Christmas food short of the mince pies - the turkey (amuch cheaper alternative to Châteauneuf), Christmas ham, roast pork, roastbeef, a hot game pie, the cheeseboard… With any luck you’ll still have a fewbottles for the chilly days of January.
Read more

- Fiona Beckett

wineanorak.com

A lovely grenache-syrah blend. Fresh, juicy berry andcherry fruit with a real silkiness to the ripe berries. This is a fabuloustextured lighter-style red with a bit of pepper. Remarkable value, so...
A lovely grenache-syrah blend. Fresh, juicy berry andcherry fruit with a real silkiness to the ripe berries. This is a fabuloustextured lighter-style red with a bit of pepper. Remarkable value, so utterlydrinkable.
Read more

89/100 - Jamie Goode

Yorkshire Post

This is the appellation that used to be called Côteauxdu Tricastin and it still hasn’t regained its popular appeal since thename-change. But the flavours are still there, with broad, plummy...
This is the appellation that used to be called Côteauxdu Tricastin and it still hasn’t regained its popular appeal since thename-change. But the flavours are still there, with broad, plummy fruit andjust a sprinkle of spice. Saturday night drinking at Wednesday night prices.
Read more

- Christine Austin

Daily Mail

If you likeChâteauneuf-du-Pape you'll love this gorgeously spicy, bramble fruit-flavouredred from a nearby region in the Rhône valley in France. It's a grenache andsyrah grape mash-up...
If you likeChâteauneuf-du-Pape you'll love this gorgeously spicy, bramble fruit-flavouredred from a nearby region in the Rhône valley in France. It's a grenache andsyrah grape mash-up and, with its gutsy flavours, is a great match for afull-on Easter feast of red meat and dark choclate. Yum! 
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- Helen McGinn

themistressofwine.com

This is amazing value(again!) and tastes like Crozes-Hermitage from further north up the Rhône IMO.Fragrant with notes of pepper and spice this looks and tastes expensive.Bargain.

- Sam Caporn MW

JancisRobinson.com

Delightful! Fragrant,lifted, juicy, cleverly judged tannin – just enough to fuzz the finish – andlots of dark chocolate on the finish. I’d buy this at twice the price. VeryGood Value.

- Richard Hemming

The Scotsman

Star value buy: Fewhave heard of this popular quaffer... as it used to be called Coteaux deTricastin. Delas producers are really at the top of their form with thisdelicious, spicy, balanced...
Star value buy: Fewhave heard of this popular quaffer... as it used to be called Coteaux deTricastin. Delas producers are really at the top of their form with thisdelicious, spicy, balanced Rhône-blend at this price.
Read more

- Rose Murray Brown

The Times

Gorgeous, bold,grenache-syrah blend from Tricastin, now Grignan Les Adhémar, in the southernRhône, bursting with vibrant, curranty, perfumed, smoky, summer berry fruit.

- Jane MacQuitty

The Guardian

…excellent… at thatprice must be one of the best-value Rhône reds. (It costs up to £9.25elsewhere.) It’s a really juicy, gulpable wine of the kind to cheer you up ifyour...
…excellent… at thatprice must be one of the best-value Rhône reds. (It costs up to £9.25elsewhere.) It’s a really juicy, gulpable wine of the kind to cheer you up ifyour party is trailing [on election night].
Read more

- Fiona Beckett

Daily Mail

You simply must trackthis wine down!  The Wine Society’s philosophy of making very low marginson their wines is clear to see in this mighty, swarthy Rhône, given its pricepoint. ...
You simply must trackthis wine down!  The Wine Society’s philosophy of making very low marginson their wines is clear to see in this mighty, swarthy Rhône, given its pricepoint.  Delas is a famous winemaking outfit, too.  Don’t miss out onthis dark, spicy, powerful red. 
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- Matthew Jukes

winegang.com

A flat-out bargainfrom an excellent Rhône producer, this is a classy classic Rhône blend ofgrenache and syrah with all the peppery spice, liquorice, sinewy tannin andfinger-staining bramble-bush ...
A flat-out bargainfrom an excellent Rhône producer, this is a classy classic Rhône blend ofgrenache and syrah with all the peppery spice, liquorice, sinewy tannin andfinger-staining bramble-bush fruit you could ask for at a quite remarkableprice.
Read more

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