Tony L’s Bin Ends – Chemin du Belvedere

Northern Rhone Syrah that’s been extremely well received but which is unique in that it comes from not one but several appellations in and around Hermitage.

I’m not saying this is an ideal hot weather wine but I am saying it’s a wine to get before it disappears…quite soon. Future vintages will be coming, I hope, but not quickly.

I’ve always been very keen on wines close to appellation borders. That come from me being a geographer and starting my career in a village excluded from the Saint Emilion appellation for no reason that made any geographic sense. After 50+ years in wine, I conclude that borders can never be 100% accurate. 

So when we were taken along the high Chemin du Belvedere lane, with its spectacular views around the vineyards of Hermitage and Crozes Hermitage by the guys from the Cave de Tain (which makes the lions share of everything in this area), I paid attention to some vineyards which were just outside the boundaries and in the ‘Cotes Rhodaniennes’. They looked fine to me but were only Vin de Pays. So we tried their wine. Very pleasant but lacking in ‘Oomph!’ Compared to their famous neighbours. It’s a Technical term.

The view looking south from Hermitage

Someone, it might have been me then suggested they add a bit of Hermitage. I was joking, of course. But it turned out they could. The vintage was abundant. Turned out they could also add some Crozes, and some Cornas! I would never have thought that possible. But…don’t ask…don’t get! Only downside is if you muck about with their precious appellations The Authorities downgrade everything to basic ‘Vin France’. OK fine. But this is the finest Vin De France you’ll ever try. Mostly gets 5 stars from reviewers.

Interesting, less-well-known wines, from strange places, (this is #3, you can read about the first here) and offer you all six as a mixed case. Come with me … Fly By Wine. No airport chaos. 

About Tony Laithwaite

Tony Laithwaite, founder of Laithwaite's, whose passion for wine is still going strong!

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