Behind Rasteau’s renaissance plus 10 ‘new look’ bottles to seek out

Rasteau
The hilltop village of Rasteau, in the north of the Vaucluse region, east of the Rhône river.

Imagine you went to a restaurant and ordered what you thought was a modest Burgundy, but it tasted like a great Bordeaux. Would you be disappointed? Even if what I received was technically a better wine, I think I would be. After all, quality isn’t the overriding criteria when I select a bottle of wine to drink; most of all, I’m thirsting for a specific style.

That’s why I’m sometimes wary when hearing about a change of direction in an appellation. Am I still going to find the wine I’m looking for in the bottle? Fortunately, the arrival of a fresher and finer interpretation of Rasteau is an entirely welcome development.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 12 ‘new-school’ Rasteaus to try


Too concentrated

Cairanne and Rasteau sit at the heart of the Co?tes du Rho?ne growing area on the east bank of the Rho?ne river. They share the southern face of a huge clay limestone hill, 10km across: Cairanne on the western half, Rasteau on the east. But the wines are very different.