In preparation for this column I tasted 46 reds in total, and – taking both quality and value into account – I can recommend 33 of them. Overall, the reds were less consistent than the whites, and although the lows were lower, the highs were higher. This tasting confirmed that it’s still possible to buy genuinely excellent northern Rhône reds for under £30 in the UK.
That being said, it’s virtually impossible to find any Cornas, Côte-Rôtie or Hermitage for under £30 a bottle these days, but there are plenty of entries from St-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.
I also tasted wines labelled as Côtes-du-Rhône, IGP and Vin de France, as long as the grapes were grown in the northern Rhône. St-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage did tend to show their class, but there are bargains to be found at lower levels if you know where to look.