2018 Rhône report now available on Decanter Premium


The 2018 vintage in the Southern Rhône is one in which simple rules of thumb don’t apply. The region suffered the worst attack of downy mildew in generations, which decimated some vineyards and made for a very difficult growing season. Often it was organic/biodynamic growers that were hardest hit, and the disease had a cruel predilection for old vines. Great vineyards were overcome just as readily as average ones. But not everyone was affected; those who escaped the worst often went on to make delicious, ripe and juicy reds and whites.

The Northern Rhône in 2018 is a more straightforward tale of a very hot, dry year. They don’t have the natural balance and charisma of the 2015s as acidities were often low and alcohols high. But those that achieved balance made some impressive wines.

My full report on both areas, including a selection of 300 of the most notable wines of the vintage, will be made available this week on Decanter Premium (the overall summary and Northern Rhônes are up now). If you don’t have a subscription, you’ll find an edited version of the report and a selection of wines in the magazine in the New Year.

If you’re planning on buying some 2018 Rhône, it will steer you in the right direction.