Chapter 9 - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of...

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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management SMHM 4300-Survey Of Beverages Spring 2006 (09) CLASS NOTES: The Wines of France-Part B WINE REGIONS COTES DU RHONE The Cotes Du Rhone is a long narrow strip of wine country that stretches along the banks of the Rhone River. The region begins just below Lyons-the gastronomic center of France, and ends 125 miles south at Avignon-site of the ancient palace of the Popes . The climate is hot and sunny and more constant from year to year than most wine regions of France. The soil is rocky, dominated by granite and is some areas there are large stones. A summer castle built by Pope Clement V (who became Pope in 1305) was called Chateauneuf du Pape -or new castle of the Pope- which today is the house of the most famous wine of all the Rhone wines. The same area produces some worthy white wines and some fine dry wines such as Tavel and Lirac . With the long intense, hot, and sunny growing season, the wines of the Rhone Valley are generalvoly big, robust, and higher in alcohol content than most French wines. Some of the oldest vineyards of France are in the Rhone Valley. Hermitage, for example, has been in existence for more than 2,000 years. A simple Cotes Du Rhone wine is similar to a Beaujolais wine except the Cotes Du Rhone has more body and alcohol. A Beaujolais by AOC standards must contain at lest 9% alcohol-a Cotes Du Rhone has a minimum standard of 10.5% alcohol. Rhone Valley vineyards can be tricky: A good year in the North Rhone may be a bad year in the South Rhone, and vice versa.
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In the US Market demand for Cotes Du Rhone wines has skyrocketed. Marked improvements in Rhone Valley vineyard practices, such as stricter pruning and selection, as well as new oak barrels have resulted in more concentrated fruit flavors with little of the hash, rustic barnyard flavors that were more common in some Rhone wines of the 1980s. The relatively stable prices have contributed to Rhone s popularity. Bordeaux and Burgundy prices have skyrocketed in the past few years, while most Rhone wines have remained very reasonable by comparison. Right now Rhone offers some of the best values in French wines. The Cotes Du Rhone regions The Cotes Du Rhone region is divided into the Northern Rhone and the Southern Rhone. In the Northern Rhone where some of the finest Rhone red wines are to be found, the wines tend to be full-bodied, long lasting, vigorous and deeply colored-most of these wines are made from the Syrah grape. Stretching 30 miles along the Rhone River from Vienne to Valance, the Northern Rhone is typified by small, hillside appellations that rely on a few select grapes Syrah for the reds, and Marsanne and Roussanne for the whites in stark contrast to the broad, multivarietal viticulture of the south. The Northern Rhone is one of the most visually striking wine regions in the world. The north is also the historical home of the Rhone Valley
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Chapter 9 - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS School of...

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