Rhône 2021 – Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds

Chateauneuf vineyard

France's seminal appellation, about to celebrate its centenary in 2023, escaped the worst of 2021's challenges. See our guide to Rhône 2021.

As I mentioned in my initial overview of the vintage in the southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape was less affected by the terrible frost of early April than many other zones. This is because it’s a vast appellation, covering approximately 3,200 hectares (7,900 acres), whose proximity to the River Rhône helped mitigate the effects. Some have called this a ‘wine-growers’ vintage’ in that the heavy rains during harvest forced some swift and important picking decisions.

Again, as is common...