J Vidal-Fleury: New Releases from the Rhône

Vidal-Fleury is the Rhône Valley’s oldest continuously operating winery, grower and negociant.  Year after year they produce a variety of reasonably priced wines from all the major Rhône appellations.  The wines are good quality, easy drinking and food friendly.

Founded in 1781 in Ampuis by Joseph Vidal-Fleury, it has had a glorious past that includes serving as host to Thomas Jefferson in 1787 when he toured France to learn about the wines and winemaking.   Since the 1980s it has been owned by the family of Etiéne Guigal but is operated as an independent firm.  Starting with the 2009 vintage, J Vidal-Fleury began producing their wines in a newly constructed winemaking facility that promises to improve the quality of their wines in the coming years.   Guy Sarton du Jonchay, pictured here, has been the winemaker at Vidal-Fleury since 2008.

Importer:  Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits, White Plains, NY

Vidal-Fleury 2011 Côtes du Rhone White Cotes du Rhône ($14) 88

The 2011 Côtes Du Rhônes White is made of Viognier from the Southern Rhone Valley and is aged sur lies in tank for six months. The wine offers fragrant orchard fruit aromas with hints of lees on the nose and fresh fruit on the palate. These are accompanied by crisp acidity and light zest on the finish.

Vidal-Fleury 2011 Côtes du Rhône Rosé Rhône Valley ($14) 88+

The 2011 Côtes-du-Rhone Rosé is a blend of 50% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, and 20% Grenache. It offers fresh aromas of red berry fruit on the nose with dry and spicy red flavors on the palate. It displays good acidity and freshness in the mouth and has lingering dry red fruit on the finish.

Vidal-Fleury 2009 Côtes du Rhone Red Rhône Valley ($13) 87

This Côtes du Rhône Red is a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Carignan. It is round and soft on the palate with aromas of red berry fruit and flavors of blackberry. It has firm tannins, good acidity, and a pleasant finish.

Vidal-Fleury 2009 Crozes Hermitage Red Rhône Valley ($23) 88

The opaque ruby Crozes Hermitage Red is an earthy, meaty wine that offers plum and blackberry aromas on the nose that are mirrored on the palate. It has good flavor concentration, firm tannins and a long finish. 100% Syrah.

Vidal-Fleury 2009 Saint Joseph Red Rhône Valley ($29) 88

Dark ruby to the core. this Saint Joseph Red reveals perfumed dark berry aromas on the nose with concentrated peppery blackberry fruit flavors on the palate. It has soft round tannins, good structure and a long finish. 100% Syrah.

Vidal-Fleury 2010 Ventoux Côtes du Rhône ($13) 88

The Ventoux is a fruit forward offering of 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre. It displays spicy red plum and blackberry fruit on the nose and crisp fresh concentrated flavors on the palate. It is medium-weight with good acidity and freshness, and has a lingering dry finish.

Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler

May 2012

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