The debut Côte du Rhône festival was held on June 23rd and promised to be “a free flowing wine and food experience in Manhattan”.
The event was held at the event space Second at 849 6th Avenue in Manhattan. It was a walk-around tasting with a French wine bar theme. There were also a couple of seminars thrown in. To accompany the generous quantity of wines that were served were pates, terrines, salumi, mussels, cheeses and pasta.
The Rhone is the second largest wine appellation in France and the Rhone AOC was established in 1937. The appellation is divided the into four classifications; Cote du Rhone, Cote du Rhone Villages, Cote du Rhone Villages + a village name and Cru wines which come from 17 defined crus.
The region is coming off of a couple outstanding vintages of 2015 & 2016 and I’ve tried some nice wines from across the classifications at every Rhone tasting that I’ve been to this year. Viognier based whites are in general lush with peach and tropical fruit notes while the rest of the whites have nice minerality and floral notes. The reds have nice concentration with meaty notes on the Syrah based North Rhone reds with red fruit and earth notes and approachable tannins on the rest.
They hosted a Trade/Media tasting in the afternoon and opened the doors for the consumers later that evening, it was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon.