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Rhône valley winemakers report top-quality 2015 harvest

Published:  26 October, 2015

Wine producers across the Rhône Valley are reporting a high-quality vintage after this year's harvest.

Concerns over the effect of three spells of heavy rain in September have proved to be unfounded.

Quality is consistent across all varietals, winemakers say.

Volume yields are thought to be down by up to 10% on last year's bumper crop, but are nevertheless in line with five-year averages.

The yield is a considerable improvement on the poor harvest in 2013.

The reds are already showing intense colour, a pleasing amount of fruit and good tannic potential. Overall the wines are beautifully coloured and rich in polyphenols.

The first Syrahs are showing excellent phenolic compound extractability is excellent and are developing an admirable range of fruit flavours.

Initial barrel tastings show that the new Grenaches are also intensely coloured, with good tannin levels.

Françoise Dijon, head of the Observatoire du Vignoble, said: "We can look forward to flavourful wines with excellent ageing potential. It's going to be very exciting!"

The UK is the Côtes du Rhône's principal export market, with some 18% of the region's production destined to cross the Channel.