With the precursor of this book, "The Wines of the Rhone Valley and Provence," first published in 1987, Parker began a campaign to share with the wine consumer the wealth of wines found in this underappreciated region. The area contains the oldest vineyards in France -- indeed the heyday of some of the Rhone Valley wines was 2,000 years ago, around the time of the Roman conquest of France. In recent centuries, these wines have been misunderstood and ignored -- and consequently undervalued. All of which means that some of the great wines of the world are available for a fraction of the cost of those from better-known regions.
"Wines of the Rhone Valley" is the ultimate resource for every wine lover, highlighting both the greatest wines of the Rhone Valley and the region's finest wine values. These wines range, in Parker's words, "from the humble generic Cotes du Rhone to the most sublime and celestial wines of Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Condrieu, and Chateauneuf du Pape." With his trademark thoroughness, Parker has fully revised and expanded this edition to reflect changes in the region, new personalities, and the latest vintages.
Parker's previous books -- thecritically acclaimed "Bordeaux" and "Burgundy" and four widely praised editions of the "Wine Buyer's Guide" -- firmly established him, in "Time" magazine's words, as "the man with the paragon palate." His appeal lies not only in his unabashed consumer advocacy, insightful reporting, and clear, lyrical writing but in the deep enthusiasm that infuses his work. Parker is an impassioned champion of wine and has made it his cause to give everyone -- from the novice whose curiosity about wine is just burgeoning to the expert who cellars by the case -- the information they need to be informed buyers and educated consumers. In this edition, Parker returns to the region closest to his heart, exploring the sun-drenched Rhone Valley in unprecedented candor and detail.
"Wines of the Rhone Valley" is divided into two main sections; the lush valleys of northern Rhone and the sunbaked hillsides of the southern Rhone. Within the sections, Parker profiles each appellation. A handy summary box provides information at a glance, including types of wines produced, grape varieties planted, and number of acres under vine. The price range of the wines is listed along with an assessment of their quality and aging potential. The description of the appellation that follows -- its history and personalities, successes and failures -- is accompanied by a rating of recent and older vintages. Then, Parker provides his classification of the growers of each appellation, comments on and explains how the wines are vinified and bottled, and gives guidelines for how long to cellar and when to serve the wines. Brief aromatic and textural profiles in this section give a hint of the detailed tasting notes that accompany theprofiles of the top producers later in the chapters. Throughout, Parker tastes and evaluates the wines using his revolutionary 50-100 point scale.
The book's introduction thoroughly explains Parker's methodology and gives guidelines on how to use his ratings and reviews most effectively. His wine terms are also defined in a detailed glossary. And there's a section that provides Parker's guidelines for what a visitor traveling in the Rhone Valley can expect to pay for a meal as well as recommendations for restaurants and lodging.
"Wines of the Rhone Valley" is certainly the most comprehensive and detailed book ever written on this region. These wines, long overshadowed by their more well-known neighbors, are now thoroughly analyzed and reviewed, providing the ultimate resource for today's savvy wine consumer.