One of the most important négociants in the northern Rhône, with the largest vineyard holding on the great Hermitage hill. Interests are not restricted to the Rhône and include Domaine TOURNON in Victoria, a project in Alsace, Schieferkopf and a couple of Touriga based reds are made in Portugal. Fine, rich Banyuls, and a Rivesaltes come from the Roussillon. Côtes du Roussillon is also the source of new reds and a white from Domaine de Bila Haut as the Chapoutiers were not slow to realise the potential of the Agly Valley. Three further wines have been added, L’Esquerda, Agly Brothers and the pricey V.I.T. Amidst the vast array of Rhône labels the top wines are superbly crafted examples of their appellations. New benchmarks have been set in both Crozes-Hermitage – with the dense, muscular and very concentrated Les Varonniers – and Saint-Joseph, with both red and white Les Granits. These are not cheap but have established new standards that others are following. Côte-Rôtie La Mordorée is a magnificent example of the appellation; even though not quite of the order of the three GUIGAL super-cuvées it is still very impressive. Hermitage red and white now comes in a number of guises. Pavillon and L’Ermite are perhaps the finest among the reds and the former is the weightiest and most powerful with a fourth label, Les Greffieux now added. Of the whites Cuvée de l’Orée is now joined by Le Méal and L’Ermite. There is no doubting the supreme quality at this level. The wines are remarkably plush, even when relatively young, and very different to a Jean-Louis CHAVE Hermitage. The regular Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne and Chante Alouette white pale a little in comparison, but at least won’t break the bank. In the south, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is good to very good and Barbe Rac is 100% Grenache. New is the Côteaux du Tricastin Château des Estubiers,with a very good red example of that appellation as well as a rosé. At a lower level the wines from lesser appellations can be a touch disappointing. The generic Côtes du Rhône Belleruche labels are relatively light. The top Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage wines are labelled with the traditional spelling, Ermitage.