White wines from the Southern Rhône

We often think of the Southern Rhône as being a red wine region. But of late, I’ve tasted some very fine white wines from the region. It’s often the case that warm-climate wine regions can make exceptional whites, if the right grape varieties are grown, and the viticulture is good. Think of the amazing whites coming from warm regions in South Africa, for example. Here are four lovely wines.

Domaine des Escaravailles Côtes du Rhône Blanc La Ponce 2018 France
14% alcohol. Full yellow in colour, this has lovely depth and intensity. It shows ripe peach and pear fruit with some honeysuckle and a touch of spicy apricot, as well as hints of nut and honey. Really satisfying and expressive, with masses of flavour, but also good freshness. 93/100

Domaine La Luminaille Côtes du Rhône Blanc Luminaris 2018 France
12% alcohol. In conversion to organics. This is fresh and focused with crisp citrus and pear fruit, showing some restraint. The palate has good acidity, there’s some subtle herby character, and a nice stoniness. Very stylish with the potential for development: there’s good concentration here. 91/100

Montirius Côtes du Rhône Blanc La Muse Papilles Blanc 2019 France
13% alcohol. Clairette, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, farmed biodynamically, no wood. This is really fresh, bright and mineral with lovely precision to the sweet citrus fruit. There’s a hint of apple and some yellow plum, and a nice linear finish. Such a lively, vital wine with a stony, mineral edge to the fruit. Lots to like in this wine, which has many dimensions. 93/100

Piaugier Sablet Blanc Côtes du Rhône Villages 2018 France
14.5% alcohol. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne farmed organically in soils of clay and sand with some limestone. This is really textural, with lovely depth to the melon and pear fruit, as well as some brightness. Such a seamless wine with a lovely flow over the palate. Shows a touch of apricot, some nectarine, and some honey and spice. Great concentration and poise: a really lovely white Rhône. 93/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com