The Rhône Valley

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Maison Ughetto-Audoin: 44.163231, 5.004180

The Rhône Valley has been making outstanding wines since Roman times. Bright meaty reds, voluptuous whites, lovely bubblies, all grown on very dry, hot stony soils, offering unique characteristics and delicious flavors. Vinotas Selections has discovered some high-quality growers who are offering fantastic wines at great prices.




Maison Ughetto-Audoin

Who doesn’t love the bacon fat, blue fruit and earthy notes of a great Cornas? The Norther Rhône is the epicenter of quality Syrah in the world, and so it was a thrill to discover this small négociant house specializing in Organic wines.

Born in 2010 as a partnership between two friends, Eric Ughetto and Lionel Audoin, Maison Ughetto-Audoin focuses on high-quality, small production Organic wines. Eric is a winemaker, and Lionel is both a professor of Philosophy as well as a part-time winemaker. Both men are originally from the Rhône Valley and have worked in the wine industry for decades, so they use their connections and friendships to find the best grapes they could.

At harvest, they make sure all their growers harvest by hand, and do a field selection. A final selection is made at the winery to ensure that only the healthiest grapes are used. Wild yeasts are allowed to ferment the wines in cement and stainless steel vessels, and 4-5 year old lightly toasted French barrels are used sparingly depending on the cuvée. Lastly, they are unfined and unfiltered with a drop of sulfur at bottling for stability.

The results are fresh and lively yet rustic like we love them from the Rhône, really gorgeous vins de terroir that proudly proclaim where they are from.

WINES

The Maison Ughetto-Audoin’s Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône comes from a plateau on pebbly clay and chalk soils between the Aigue and Ouvezes rivers. Hand-harvested, the grapes are fermented with indigenous yeasts, then spend 20 months half in vats and half in neutral barrels. The resulting wine offers hints of raspberry, and earthy herbs, on a rustic but elegant medium peppery frame with meaty accents and a long finish.

Their Cornas was grown on the layered granite hills of the right bank of the Rhône river. Hand-harvested, it was fermented with local wild yeasts and spent 14 months in barrel. Unfined and unfiltered at bottling. It offers lovely bright dark red fruit, meaty, herbal and earthy notes on a medium body with black pepper accents, ending with a long finish and fruity tannins.