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The Wines of the Northern Rhone [Hardcover]

John Livingstone-Learmonth
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Dec 2005
For anyone who wants to understand the full story that lies within a glass of wine, this book opens up the inner secrets of the geology, the vineyards, the wines, and the growers of the northern Rhone Valley in France. Home to the spicy Syrah, or Shiraz, and the floral Viognier grapes, the northern Rhone Valley is one of France's oldest wine-growing regions; its appellations include Hermitage, Cote-Rotie, Condrieu, Crozes-Hermitage, St-Joseph, and Chateau-Grillet. With evocative descriptions and marvelous insights, this accessible, elegant book, the culmination of more than thirty years following the Rhone, is a comprehensive and authoritative survey of the various estates, winemakers, and their wines.Taking a deeper look at the northern Rhone than Livingstone-Learmonth's highly regarded previous volumes on the Rhone Valley, this revised and up-to-date edition covers more producers and includes more in-depth information on the various terroirs, the histories of the wines, and the methods for making the wines. Livingstone-Learmonth concentrates on letting the producers explain their outlook and methods and includes much local color. "The Wines of the Northern Rhone" includes: assessments of thousands of wines, with guide dates on when to drink and how long to age them; winemakers' views on what foods best accompany their wines; new vineyard maps for each appellation; detailed descriptions by growers discussing the effect of different soils on their wines; precise information on how each domaine makes its wines; and, new research on the historical links between Hermitage and Bordeaux.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 776 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (20 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520244338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520244337
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 18.5 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


["A] magisterial and compelling tour de force of a passionate wine guide....a dip into the book at virtually any point is almost as satisfying as a visit."--"Decanter

About the Author

John Livingstone-Learmonth is a noted wine writer whose work is regularly featured in Decanter, the leading British wine magazine. He is a long-term contributor to the Hugh Johnson annual Pocket Wine Book and author of The Wines of the Rhone (third edition, 1992). Kermit Lynch is a wine importer and retailer and the author of Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France and Inspiring Thirst.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The northern Rhone faces the twenty-first century with its tail apparently up. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book for wine lovers 4 Feb 2010
By Maria
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the recommendation of a Rhone wine grower who uses it as a local encyclopedia. It has everything you need if you are looking for detailed info on grapes, terrain & regional producers. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is that so far it is a single edition, already 5 years old, with no talk of an update.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set aside a few months to read it!! 31 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Without a doubt this is the most comprehensive wine book I have. The author provides a level of detail that is unsurpassed, descriptions of individual vineyards and terroirs, micro-climates even personalities of some of the wine makers. It is not a book for someone with a casual interest in the region, definitely one for a wine anorak. The authors knowledge is mind boggling and whets ones appetite for the wine he describes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Rhone Bible 14 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was described to me as "the bible" for Cotes du Rhone and that is a very apt description of a wonderful book which made me want to jet over to the Rhone Valley and spend some quality time eating wonderful food and tasting glorious wines.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book 29 Dec 2008
An excellent book, very informative on regions, growers and the more recent vintages. Recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch review of the Northern Rhone 31 Jan 2006
By Chambolle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The thinking person's alternative to The Emperor's '100 point grading system' tome on the Rhone. Livingstone-Learmonth provides a highly personal account of the vineyards, the growers and the wines, along with tasting notes and vintage profiles that reward style, character and finesse more than brutal extraction and sheer "hedonistic fruit bomb" amplitude -- a rare perspective on the wines from this sun-drenched part of France, the land where the pundits go to find big chunky monkey "special cuvee" reds and oily high alcohol whites slathered liberally (and uncharacteristically) in new oak. Rather than you-know-who's hyperbole about the "greatest in history" 2003 vintage, for example, Learmonth offers a thoughtful and even handed view that acknowledges the question marks surrounding the wines from that freakish growing season. In my humble view, this book is the English language reference standard on the northern Rhone, and a great follow up to Learmonth's earlier Faber publication on the northern and southern Rhone vineyards. My taste and my cellar are overwhelmingly skewed towards Burgundy, but this book sent me back down to my cellar to pull the corks on some older bottles of Cornas, St. Joseph, Cote Rotie and Hermitage and has me ready to lay down more of them -- and perhaps to head a bit further south on my next trip to France. A must have volume.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Love The N. Rhones, You Need This Book 24 July 2006
By A. Feiring - Published on Amazon.com
Livingstone-Learmonth does a knock up job, has meticulously researched and what's more--- knows that you should make your drinking decisions by looking into the vigneron or negoc behind the wine and the way they work and not by looking at a score.

Who knew that a guidebook to the Rhone could not only be a necessary resource book but also a hell of a read? This is an in-depth and entertaining insight into a region that produces the ne plus ultra of syrah (yes, viognier and the other whites, but it's all about the syrah, isn't it?).
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wines of the Northern Rhone 1 Mar 2006
By Herbert H. Kaplan - Published on Amazon.com
Every serious wine lover will find The Wines of the Northern Rhone indispensable. It is profound in its knowledge of the soil, grape, vineyard, and the wine makers of the Rhone. John Livingstone-Learmonth's writing is lucid and sensitive. It is not only a scholarly study of reference but also one that will be consulted to select a wine for dinner, for purchase and for cellaring. It is also a wonderful tourist guide of the northern Rhone valley.

Herbert H. Kaplan

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 16 Dec 2008
By J. Herrera - Published on Amazon.com
This book stands alongside Cote D'or by Clive Coates as one of the greatest wine books of all time. Its all there, vintage, producer and appelation profiles, in depth!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible 16 Dec 2007
By Dan S. Higgins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's taken me quite a while to warm to this book. I felt at first I was no match for the amount of information provided. I skimmed through reading reviews of the wines I own and put the book down to collect dust. Since then I have returned, have read from page one to the end of the chapter on Hermitage and now have a newfound appreciation for not only the wines and producers of those wines, but for Learmonth.
"Batonnage became the chic thing to do during the white's raising, but the result left the wines flabby and similar across different appellations." That is the sort of detail you can expect; this is no beginners book. I have at times needed to read paragraphs a second time to really comprehend what Learmonth is saying but once I grasp what he is saying I feel as if I am part of a very select group who have delved deeper into the subject of wine than most. It's time for the author to write about the Southern Rhone.
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