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Southern Rhône white wines: how do they compare?

There is fascinating diversity among the Southern Rhône's white wines despite only making up 4% of production, argues Matt Walls. Here he delves deep into the category, tasting 55 wines and recommends - appellation by appellation - some top bottles to try.

Southern Rhône white wines – how do they compare?

When most of us think of Rhône whites, we instinctively lift our eyes northwards. The crus of the Northern Rhône produce 17% white wine, whereas the crus of the Southern Rhône make just 4%.

But if we take a magnifying glass to this sliver of southern whites there is a fascinating diversity – of landscapes, of soils, of grape varieties, regional styles. As with all things Rhône, the neat north is easier to grasp than the sprawling south.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 21 new-release Southern Rhône white wines

How does a white Cairanne compare to a white Lirac? Which of the named villages make the finest whites? And what about the satellite appellations like Ventoux and Luberon? Blending is the tradition here so it’s not always easy to tell them apart.

There are regional differences however – and here’s an idea of what to expect.

Southern Rhône white wines: 21 great buys from the 2018, 2019 & 2020 vintages

Wines have been listed in score order

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