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Flashcards in Northern Rhône Deck (38)
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1

What is the climate of the Northern Rhône?

Moderate continental

2

What are the main soil types in the Northern Rhône?

  • Granite/Volcanic/Schist: In the northern portion, in Côte-Rôtie + Condrieu, plus a pure granite outcropping in Cornas;
  • Alluvial/Clay: In the mid-to-southern portion, in Saint-Joseph + Crozes-Hermitage.

3

Which 2 cities delimit the Northern Rhône Valley?

Vienne

  • in the north

Valence

  • in the south

4

Name the AOPs of the Northern Rhône Valley.

From north to south:

  • Côte-Rôtie
  • Condrieu
  • Saint-Joseph
  • Crozes-Hermitage
  • Hermitage
  • Cornas

5

Where are the prime vineyards of the Northern Rhône situated: on the valley floor or on steep slopes?

Northern Rhône's prime vineyards are planted on steep slopes.

6

How do winemakers work on the steep slopes of the Northern Rhône?

Most of the work is done by hand as tractors cannot go over the small terrasses. Horses are sometimes used in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. 

Romans built stone terraces which are still used today and require hand harvesting.

7

What is the only red grape allowed in the Northern Rhône?

Syrah

8

Name the white grapes grown in the Northern Rhône and in which appellations you'll find them.

Viognier

  • Condrieu

Roussanne

  • Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph

Marsanne

  • Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph

9

What are the flavors and characteristics of Viognier? 

  • Full body
  • High alcohol
  • Low acidity
  • Apricot + blossom aromas

10

What are the flavors and characteristics of Roussanne and Marsanne?

Roussanne

  • Medium-to-full body
  • Medium acidity
  • Perfumed stone fruits

Marsanne

  • Medium-to-full body
  • Fatty, rich texture
  • Slightly bitter; develops marizpan + hazelnut notes as it ages

Neither is as aromatic as Viognier

11

Name a white wine-only appellation in the Northern Rhône.

Condrieu AOP: 100% Viognier​

12

Northern Rhône appellations that are allowed to make both still red and still white wines include:

  • Saint-Joseph
  • Hermitage
  • Crozes-Hermitage

13

Is Condrieu more likely to be dry or sweet?

What about oak usage in Condrieu?

Today Condrieu is famous for being dry and aged in oak barrels.

However, back in the 1940s, Condrieu was known for its sweet wine production.  A few young winemakers today are experimenting with late harvest Viognier from the slopes of Condrieu.

 

14

What is the single vineyard appellation within Condrieu that makes a wine similar in style to Condrieu?

Château-Grillet

15

In terms of volume, what is the largest appellation of the Northern Rhône?

Crozes-Hermitage AOP

 

16

Name the grape varieties used in the production of Crozes-Hermitage AOP.

Red:

  • Syrah
  • Can be blended with a max 15% combined Marsanne and Roussanne.

White:

  • Marsanne
  • Roussanne

 

 

17

Are new oak barrels largely used in Crozes-Hermitage AOP?

Generally, no -- either large or neutral demi-muids are used to soften the tannins of the Syrah in Crozes-Hermitage.

New oak usage is rare as Crozes-Hermitage as it is an appellation meant for early consumption.

18

What is the difference between Crozes-Hermitage AOP and Hermitage AOP?

Crozes-Hermitage AOP

  • vineyards are located mostly on flat land with varied soils (with lots of clay) where mechanical harvesting is common;
  • roughly 1,200ha in size.

Hermitage AOP

  • Hermitage is a steep granite hill roughly 120ha in size;
  • produces some of France's most prestigious wines, the majority of them reds.  All vineyard work is done by hand.

Both AOPs allow for up to 15% combined Marsanne and Roussanne to be blended into the reds.

19

Is St-Joseph an homogeneous appellation in terms of quality and style of wine?

No, St-Joseph is not homogeneous.  The vineyards stretch over a long distance, covering wide variations in climate and soil.

Think of it like a sandwich: the northern and southern portions of St-Joseph make the best wines, while the middle part of St-Joseph makes large volumes of lighter-bodied, inexpensive wine.

20

St-Joseph lies on the east or west bank of the Rhône River?

What city marks the southern end of St-Joseph?

  • West bank
  • Tournon

21

Name the grape varieties used in the production of Saint-Joseph AOP.

Red

  • Syrah

White

  • Marsanne
  • Roussanne

 

22

In the Northern Rhône, red wines from   (1)   tend to have more elegance while in   (2)   they are bolder and more powerful; in    (3)   they are full bodied and earthy.

  1. Côte-Rôtie
  2. Cornas
  3. Hermitage

23

What is the warmest appellation in the Northern Rhône?

Cornas AOP

24

Which appellation in the Northern Rhône makes red wine only made from 100% Syrah?

Cornas AOP

25

What are some of the factors that contribute to wines from Cornas being so full and powerful?

Some of the factors that contribute to Cornas's full and powerful wines are its location and the terroir:

  • Situated in the southern part of the Northern Rhône, this tiny AOP has a south-facing, so it has long ripening days;
  • Vineyards are in a sheltered amphitheater on granite soil, which retains heat;
  • Vineyards are on very steep slopes, enhancing the amount of sunshine the grapes receive.

26

What is the northernmost appellation in the Rhône Valley?

Côte-Rôtie

Attention! The Rhône River's northernmost appellation is Valais in Switzerland; the Rhône Valley's northernmost appellation is Côte-Rôtie.

27

What does Côte-Rôtie translate to in English?

Roasted slope

Grapes are highly exposed to the sun as the vineyards face east-to-southeast.

28

Which AOP in the Northern Rhône is situated around the town of Ampuis?

Côte-Rôtie AOP

29

In Côte-Rôtie, which white grape may be blended with Syrah?

What is the maximum amount?

  • Viognier
  • Up to 20% of the final blend; often co-fermented with Syrah grapes.

Viognier adds aromatic complexity to the power of the Syrah.

30

Name the 2 AOPs located on the left bank in the Northern Rhône.

  1. Hermitage AOP
  2. Crozes-Hermitage AOP

Remember that the banks of a river are named “left” or “right” according to the directional flow of that river. The Rhône River flows from north to south and so, drifting downstream, Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage will appear on your left. Ergo, they are located on the left bank.