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Syrah Wines

Syrah Wines

Syrah Wines

Taking but a cursory glance at a Syrah grape cluster reveals the cosmically deep hue of its wines. As a grape varietal, Syrah is grown in many places across the globe, as a core component of many exceptional and compelling red wines. While it’s primarily associated with France (where it’s masterfully used in regions such as the Rhône Valley), Syrah sees a healthy representation in California, Washington, Chile, New Zealand, and quite a few locations in Australia.

Because the grape is nurtured across so many regions, there are often many subtle differences between Syrah wines that tell of their terroir. A Syrah that was grown in the northern part of the Rhône valley may produce a medium or full-bodied wine, with higher levels of tannin and a flavor laced with lush blackberry, sharp black pepper and refreshing, courageous mint. On the other hand, Syrah wines originating from certain regions in Australia (where the climate is considerably hotter) are consistently jammier and full-bodied, with less overwhelming tannin representation. A sampling of one of these can reveal an undercutting of leathery flavor and some delightful licorice.

In most cases, Syrah wines age incredibly well, owing to their higher acidity and often high tannin. This makes them an excellent addition to a collection if you can find some great vintage bottles – perhaps a bottle of Astralis Vineyard Syrah or a Brookman Vineyard Syrah? There are many viable choices, thanks to how well the wines age. The nuances and character they develop over time can leave you astounded, as you discover new flavor notes and textures with each sampling.
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1964 paul aine jaboulet hermitage la chapelle Hermitage

First, a magnum of 1964 Hermitage La Chapelle from Paul Jaboulet Aîné. Lucid in hue, it sports modest bricking on the rim. Its initial tightness on the nose soon disappears to reveal layers of melted red berries, allspice and touches of wild mint, hints of potpourri/garrigues emerging with time. The palate is fleshy and displays exquisite balance, the vestige of fruit framed by filigree tannins, hints of strawberry and bay leaf as it fans out and deepens on the captivating finish. Format and provenance play a role here, yet it was undeniably Hermitage at its very best and at 58-years of age, one senses it has no intention of stepping off its high plateau. Utterly transfixing.Vinous Media | 97 VMA warm summer led to supple, low-acidity wines. This Chapelle reflects the vintage--smooth, silky and full-bodied. Less expressive than the ’66, but tastes rounder and richer. Melts on the palate as it delivers white chocolate, spice, fresh plum and freshly roasted coffee bean. Seems younger than you’d expect from a 35-year-old wine.--La Chapelle vertical. Drink now through 2005.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThis fully mature La Chapelle exhibits a dark garnet color with considerable amber at the edge. Aromas of wood fires, smoke, leather, Asian spices, roasted vegetables, and meats emerge from the wine’s bouquet.Burly, brawny, fat, and full, with low acidity, high alcohol, and copious glycerin and fruit, this 1964 is initially sumptuous, creamy-textured, and spectacular to drink, but it quickly cracks up as it sits in the glass. I have not had much previous experience with this vintage, but I suspect it was close to perfect when drunk in its prime (the seventies and early eighties). However, it is clearly at the end of its useful life, and should be consumed ... quickly.Robert Parker | 93 RP

As low as $2,100.00
1981 penfolds grange hermitage Australia Red

The 1981 stood out as slightly superior. Winemaker John Duval always felt this was a tannic style of Grange, but the wine has shed its tannins, and this is one of the few vintages where the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon was above 10%. Sweet notes of creme de cassis, cedarwood, charcoal, and barbecue spices are followed by a full-bodied, opulent wine displaying heady amounts of alcohol, glycerin, and density in its full-bodied, skyscraper-like texture. I was drinking this wine with great pleasure in the mid-nineties, yet here it is nearly 15 years later, and the wine does not appear to have budged much from its evolutionary state. This is a testament to how remarkably well these wines hold up, and age at such a glacial pace.Grange, Penfolds’ flagship wine, is, by many accounts, the most renowned and world-famous wine produced in Australia, and these six vintages from my cellar all acquitted themselves well. These wines are almost always Shiraz, but many vintages include less than 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and there are cross-appellations blends from vineyards in the Barossa and McLaren Vale.Robert Parker | 97 RP

As low as $735.00
1983 guigal cote rotie la landonne Cote Rotie

This murky, purple/garnet-colored wine offers up an exotic nose of tea, smoked duck, licorice, truffles, and earth. Extraordinarily concentrated, and almost too rich to be called a beverage, this viscous, compellingly endowed, massive La Landonne remains 5-7 years away from full maturity. The wine possesses excruciatingly high tannin in the finish, but awesome levels of extract and glycerin. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2025. Last tasted 6/96.Robert Parker | 98 RPVery rich, and very ripe, this is packed with tannins and flavors of plum, black pepper and game. Still needs time to harmonize; try in 2000.--Guigal Côte-Rôtie vertical. — TMWine Spectator | 92 WS(Guigal Côte-Rôtie “La Landonne”) The 1983 La Landonne is a lovely bottle of Côte-Rôtie that has also reached its plateau of maturity, and only suffers a bit in comparison to the transcendental La Mouline. The ’83 La Landonne is a full-bodied and very complex Côte-Rôtie that is a bit more true to the vintage’s characteristics, with a bit of a dry edge on the finish detracting just a tad from the brilliance of the flavors and aromatics. The nose is deep and complex, offering up notes of cassis, grilled meats, ground pepper, hot stones, herbs, and a bit of tar. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, deep and resolved, with fine complexity, a good core of fruit, and just a bit of dry tannin poking out on the long, complex finish. The finish is typical of many 1983 northern Rhônes, and though it is not drying out like so many of the wines from this vintage, it is also more typical of its vintage than the surreal ’83 La Mouline. (Drink between 2005-2015)John Gilman | 92 JG

As low as $1,310.00
1985 guigal cote rotie la mouline Cote Rotie

One of the all-time great La Moulines, this still youthful and unevolved wine does not have the tannic ferocity of the 1988, or the sheer force and intensity of the 1978, 1976, and 1969, but it represents the epitome of this single-vineyard wine. Everything fits perfectly in this full-bodied, black/purple-colored wine that reveals no garnet or amber at the edge of its color. The nose offers up a formidable array of overripe black raspberries and cherries intertwined with scents of cedar, chocolate, olives, and toast. Extremely full-bodied, with an unctuosity and opulence that must be tasted to be believed, this velvety-textured wine’s finish lasts for over a minute. It is one of the most concentrated but profoundly endowed and well-balanced wines I have ever tasted. Like so many of the wines Guigal has produced from this vineyard, no matter how hard one tries to articulate its glories, words are simply inadequate. The 1985 is just beginning to achieve full maturity, where it should remain for another 15 + years. Anticipated maturity: now-2012. Last tasted 8/96.Robert Parker | 100 RPA collection of stunning older northern Rhônes puts a strong exclamation point on this night of fabulous food, wine and conversation. The 1985 Côte-Rôtie La Mouline has far better balance. One of the wines of the night, the Mouline is dark, sensual and breathtakingly beautiful. Layers of dark fruit intermingled with scents of tobacco, licorice, plum, black cherry and incense blossom into the voluptuous, exotic finish. At thirty years of age, the 1985 is a real stunner.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGVivid, concentrated and complete, this gorgeous wine is rich with kirsch, floral, vanilla and raspberry flavors that go on forever. Lovely now, but better after 2000.--Guigal Côte-Rôtie vertical. Wine Spectator | 97 WS(Côte-Rôtie “la Mouline”- Domaine Guigal) I can vividly recall just how beautiful the 1985 La Mouline was from Marcel Guigal back in the decade of the 1990s, when there were few other wines from the vintage that could match its sheer beauty and extravagant personality. However, at age thirty-one, the new oak in this wine is starting to poke out a bit more than was the case back in its prime, and the wine is not quite the seamless beauty it was of yesteryear. It is still a lovely bottle, but it has come back to the pack a bit, offering up a deep and complex nose of black raspberries, cassis, grilled meats, nutskin, coffee, a lovely base of soil and plenty of cedary wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and still in its plateau of maturity, with melted tannins and a long, classy finish. I would be happy to drink this wine anytime, but I remember when it was just a bit closer to perfection than it is today. (Drink between 2016-2035)John Gilman | 94 JG

As low as $3,545.00
1988 guigal cote rotie la turque Cote Rotie

Deep purple-colored, with grilled meat and smoky, barbecue-like aromas beginning to emerge, along with lavishly ripe scents of black plums and cassis, the 1988 La Turque is not quite as suppressed aromatically as La Mouline. This thick, unctuously textured, full-bodied, monster wine is close to reaching its plateau of drinkability. The wine exhibits awesome concentration, terrific purity, and, amazingly, no evidence of the 42 months it spent in 100% new oak casks. Very full and rich, and potentially the longest-lived La Turque yet made, this wine should be legendary. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2015. Last tasted 7/96.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe nose on the 1988 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque couldn’t get any better and is dark, dense and just packed with earthy dark fruit, meat, smoke and bacon notes. There’s subtle graphite and integrated wood notes lurking in the background and I could smell this wine all night. The palate is full bodied with perfect balance, silky texture, considerable structure and a fantastic, long finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JD(Guigal Côte-Rôtie “La Turque”) Between 1985 and 1991, the single vineyard bottlings of Guigal Côte-Rôties have to be among the most consistently fine wines made in all of France. Not only were they superb in the big vintages like 1985, 1988, and 1991, but even the 1986s and 1987s were outstanding wines. I have not kept up on the wines since the mid-1990s, but long-time Rhône fans whose palates I trust tell me that the magic has been lost. But there was still plenty of magic back when the 1988 La Turque was bottled, and this is a really lovely wine for such a young vine cuvée. The nose is deep and beautifully complex, offering up a blend of pepper, red berries, salami, hot stones, coffee, cloves and exotic wood-derived spices. On the palate the wine is full-bodied and wonderfully complex, with great focus and detail, solid depth at the core, and good length on the modestly tannic finish. If I were to knit-pick a bit about this wine, it is only that the wood sticks out ever so slightly on the finish. It would have been nice for Monsieur Guigal, knowing that this was still young vines in 1988, to have backed off the new oak at least for the La Turque, as the wine would have been even better for it. But that said, this is still a superb bottle of wine. (Drink between 2006-2020).John Gilman | 95 JGExotic floral and spice notes add interest to the vanilla and plum flavors; the wine is vivid and rich but the dominant flavor is oak. Try in 1997.--Guigal Côte-Rôtie vertical. 700 cases made.Wine Spectator | 92 WS

As low as $1,860.00
1989 chapoutier hermitage le pavillon Hermitage

The 1989 Le Pavilion is a prodigious wine. Made from yields of 14 hectoliters per hectare, this parcel of old vines (averaging 70-80 years of age) has produced an opaque black/purple-colored wine, with a hauntingly stunning bouquet of violets, cassis, minerals, and new oak. In the mouth, the similarity in texture, richness, and perfect balance to the compelling 1986 Mouton-Rothschild is striking, only this wine is richer and longer. This extraordinarily well-balanced wine will probably not be ready to drink for at least 5-10 years, but it will evolve for three decades or more. It is an enormous yet amazingly well-delineated wine. I lament the fact that there are only 600 cases of this magnificent wine. This great Hermitage was the first of a trilogy (1989, 1990, and 1991) of exquisite Le Pavillons. Last tasted 12/95.Robert Parker | 100 RPThe 1989 Chapoutier Hermitage Le Pavillon was incredibly intense and powerful. Made in a dark, somewhat alcoholic style, it came across as dark, rich and totally seductive in its expression of dark fruit, flowers and cassis.Antonio Galloni | 95 AG

As low as $780.00
1990 chave hermitage Hermitage

The 1990 Hermitage is fully mature yet holding beautifully. Perfumed notes of sweet cassis and blackberry fruits, rose hips, smoked meats, and exotic spices all flow to a full-bodied, layered, seamless, flawlessly balanced Hermitage that glides over the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness. With resolved tannins, beautiful purity, and a great finish, it’s unquestionably ready to go, yet should hold nicely for another 8-10 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDAlso mature, yet with another level of texture and richness, the 1990 Hermitage is a profound effort that’s drinking perfectly. Voluptuous, yet classy and still refined, with awesome cassis and blackberry fruit, flowers, rose petal and hints of rendered bacon fat, it is full-bodied, textured and layered on the palate, with no hard edges and killer length on the finish. This beauty makes lights go off in my head, and as with the ’91, I’d drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years or so.Located in the tiny village of Mauves, just south of Hermitage, lies one of the true bastilles of traditionally made wines, and there are few vinous experiences that surpass getting to taste through the different terroirs of Hermitage and Saint Joseph in Chave’s cellar. Founded in 1481, Chave has seen a long succession of generations, with Gerard Chave, who was born in 1935, slowly beginning to hand over the reins to his brilliant son, Jean-Louis (born in 1968), in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Today, the estate stays firmly planted in tradition, yet is far from resting on its laurels or reputation, completing work on a new cellar (just across the street from their existing cellar and connected via a tunnel) in 2014, and working hard on a number of new vineyard sites. While this new cellar includes a state-of-the-art lab, Jean-Louis was quick to point out, “you don’t need a lab to make great wine.” In addition, and along with the help of Jean-Louis’ wife, Erin Cannon-Chave, they’ve continued to grow their negociant label, Chave Selection, which offers fabulous bang-for-the-buck and includes both Northern and Southern Rhones. While Jean-Louis has a professor-like level of expertise with regards to Hermitage, today his passion is firmly directed at the steep slopes on the western side of the Rhone River, in the appellation of Saint Joseph. He has numerous new vineyards coming on-line, and while everything is currently blended into his estate Saint-Joseph, each of the individual terroirs are incredibly unique, and I’m sure will be bottled on their own sometime in the future. With more and more of Hermitage going to larger corporations these days, it’s inspiring to see this small, family owned estate still sitting near the top of the hierarchy. Jean-Louis is still young (and has a young son who takes after him, and a daredevil daughter who takes after Erin), so the future is very bright at this estate! Looking specifically at their Hermitage, the Chaves vinify each of their individual terroirs separately, and the components are all aged in small barrels before blending and bottling without being filtered. As is the norm in Hermitage, everything is completely destemmed, and the percentage of new oak is kept to a minimum, falling in the 20-30% range. The style here is beautifully transparent, with the wines always showing the vintage characteristics clearly (which Jean-Louis breaks into a “Granite” year, or a “Sun” year). In addition, when tasted as individual components, each plot’s characteristics always shine through. While the wines have the balance and purity to dish out plenty of pleasure in their youth, they age beautifully, with Jean-Louis recommending at least 15 years of cellaring for most vintages.Robert Parker | 99 RPThis still very rich and alluring, with a core of dark roasted plum, black currant and blackberry fruit that still has an unctuous feel. There are additional floral and black tea notes, flashes of bergamot and clove, and a lingering tarry edge that supports the finish. Still throws a long shadow. Going in, I would have picked this as the wine to beat from the older vintages, but the ’91 prevails in overall grace.—Non-blind Chave vertical (June 2012). Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSChave’s 1990 Hermitage is simply magnificent from the moment it is poured. A dark, translucent ruby, the 1990 hits the palate with a rush of bold red-fleshed fruits. Hints of herb, smoke, cedar, dried flowers, tobacco and leather open up with time in the glass, but above all else, the 1990 is superbly polished and silky, with exceptional balance and an alluring, sensual personality that makes it nearly impossible to put the glass down. This is an especially fine bottle of the 1990 and a real thrill to drink. It simply does not get too much better than this. Readers lucky enough to own well-stored bottles can look forward to another 15-20 years of pure pleasure.Antonio Galloni | 97 AG(Hermitage- Domaine Jean-Louis Chave) The 1990 Chave, in notable contrast to the ’90 La Chapelle, is a brilliant bottle of wine. There was a time four or five years ago when this vintage of Chave seemed to have a little bit of pruniness developing, but with further bottle age the wine has snapped back into focus and offers a stunningly pure and transcendental aromatic profile. The majestic bouquet soars from the glass in a mélange of black raspberries, cassis, black olives, hot stones, tobacco smoke, earth and a touch of La Mission-like chipotle pepper. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, pure and minerally, with fine focus, great depth in the mid-palate, ripe tannins, solid acidity, and great length and grip on the profound finish. This is only a few years away from its absolute apogee, but it should drink at its peak for at least another three decades. A great Chave (Drink between 2010-2040).John Gilman | 96+ JG

As low as $1,895.00
1990 paul aine jaboulet hermitage la chapelle Hermitage

I’ve been lucky enough to drink probably a case of the 1990 Hermitage La Chapelle, and it’s always either rated pure perfection or just off that magical number. On this occasion, it tasted like a newly released wine and offered incredible purity and freshness in its crème de cassis, crushed rocks, spring flowers, chocolate, and smoke meat aromas and flavors. Deep, brilliantly concentrated, yet also elegant and seamless, it’s just now starting to show hints of secondary aromas and is going to be incredibly long-lived. One of the greatest Hermitages ever made, life is too short not to drink this once in your life!Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDJaboulet’s Hermitage La Chapelle 1961, 1978 and 1990 are considered to be among the greatest wines ever made in the Rhône Valley. The 1990 was sourced from Les Bessards, Le Méal and Les Rocoules, with the vines at the time between 40 and 60 years old. The grapes were hand-harvested, destemmed and macerated for three to four weeks, then matured in barrel for 15-18 months, 20% new wood. It’s still amazingly dark in colour, with an immediately intense, savoury expression on the nose reminiscent of beef stock. Dried roses and roasted beef bones come through on the medium- to full-bodied palate, but there’s also still fruit, not yet dried out at all. There’s a touch of mint on the finish and a prickle of furry tannins. This still has a good sense of density and drive - an extraordinary wine with a reputation that’s fully deserved. Drinking Window 2019 - 2050Decanter | 100 DECThe 1990 La Chapelle is the sexy and opulent. I had the 1990 at the Jaboulet tasting, and again out of a double magnum three months ago. On both occasions it was spectacular, clearly meriting a three-digit score. The modern day equivalent of the 1961, it deserves all the attention it has garnered.The color remains an opaque purple, with only a slight pink at the edge. Spectacular aromatics offer up aromas of incense, smoke, blackberry fruit, cassis, barbecue spice, coffee, and a touch of chocolate. As it sits in the glass, additional nuances of pepper and grilled steak emerge. There is extraordinary freshness for such a mammoth wine in addition to abundant tannin, an amazing 60-second finish, and a level of glycerin and thick, fleshy texture that have to be tasted to be believed.Despite its youthfulness, the 1990 La Chapelle is lovely to drink, although it will be even better with another 5-6 years of cellaring; it should age for 35-40+ years. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2050.Robert Parker | 100 RPGorgeous aromas of dark berry, dried meat, dried berry, game, wet earth and licorice. Floral. Full body with a wonderful texture of dried fruits, spices and berries. Very dense and muscular with wonderful balance and length. Dense and intense. Blockbuster style.James Suckling | 98 JSAs expected from this ideal vintage, this ’90 is sensational. Inky in color and solidly anchored in its [i]terroir[n], it springs to life with a symphony of flavors, from mineral to wet earth and blackberry. Marvelous balance among fruit, acidity and smooth tannins. Delicious now, but can hold.--La Chapelle vertical. Drink now through 2025. 9,400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WSRhȏne lovers were out in full force on this night. Sadly, I only got to taste a handful of the wines being passed around. Still, these were four of the greatest wines I have ever tasted. The 1990 La Chapelle held its own in this grouping, and then some. The purity of the fruit and the wine’s finish were mind-bending.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG

As low as $1,225.00
1995 chave hermitage cathelin Hermitage

The 1995 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin is another magical wine from this family estate that’s drinking brilliantly today. Its vivid ruby, semi-opaque color (classic mature Hermitage) is followed by an incredibly complex bouquet of red and black currants, Asian spices, scorched earth, beef blood, and obvious smoky minerality that’s the essence of the les Bessards lieu-dit. Deep, concentrated, and powerful on the palate, yet at the same time incredibly seamless and elegant, with an almost Burgundian ethereal texture, this smoky, meaty, mineral-driven Hermitage is fully mature today yet I will have no problem evolving for another two decades or more. It’s pure class.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDA unique wine that floats like a cloud on the palate but tastes of a garden in full bloom, of freshly plowed earth, of a stable of horses and worn leather saddles. Extraordinary marriage between fresh acidity and full-bodied, voluptuous texture, this is the sort of wine you’ll never tire of drinking and one that should age for more than a decade. Silky finish with grilled meat, animal-like accents. Have I said enough? It’s just brilliant. Drink now through 2015. 250 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 1995 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin, only the third vintage of this offering, is less aromatic than the cuvee classique. Rich and powerful, with a formidable tannin level in the finish, it possesses a saturated purple color, great purity of fruit, and considerable mouthfeel and length, but what a full-bodied, awesomely-endowed baby! Much less evolved than the 1990 and 1991 were at a similar stage, it will require a minimum of 10-12 years of patience, and will last for 30-40+ years.Robert Parker | 97 RPDark ruby-red. Brooding but vibrant aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice and spice. Extremely dense and concentrated, with urgent blackcurrant and pepper flavors complicated by a spicy oak component. Despite its supple texture, this has shut down since the last time I sampled it and is likely to call for extended patience.Vinous Media | 95+ VM(Hermitage “Cuvée Cathelin”- Chave) Given my very real and profound respect for the young titan of the 1995 regular Hermitage, I had great hopes for the ’95 Cuvée Cathelin which I had not crossed paths with before this. On the nose there is nothing at all here that fails to excite, as the wine soars from the glass in a blaze of black and red raspberries, grilled meats, gourd pepper, hot Hermitage stoniness, and a kaleidoscope of exotic spices. On the palate the wine is medium-full (nowhere near as concentrated as the regular 1995) and quite complex, with lovely focus, plenty of tangy, red berry fruit at the core, and a finish that is not quite capable of completely supporting the high percentage of new oak that the wine is expected to carry. The final notes here are of a bit of wood tannin. Once one tastes this wine, it is clearly understood that much of the magical spice tones on the nose are derived from the new oak, and though they are indeed captivating, they come at the price of modest depth of fruit on the palate. It seems pretty clear to me that this wine dried out a bit in the new oak, and though it is not a bad wine by any stretch of the imagination, it is not a patch on the regular 1995 Hermitage. 2007-2020. 90-93+ (depending on how well the fruit can carry the wood as time goes by). (Drink between 2007-2020).John Gilman | 90-93+ JG

As low as $8,365.00
1996 chapoutier cote rotie la mordoree Cote Rotie

I was less impressed with the 1996 Cote Rotie La Mordoree from bottle than I was from cask. Michel Chapoutier still believes it is one of the finest examples he has produced, but agrees that the high acidity has left everything in the wine compressed. It is certainly an outstanding offering, but it will require 5-7 years of patience. Made from microscopic yields of 15 hectoliters per hectare, it exhibits a saturated purple color, and a reticent but promising nose of toasty new oak, cassis, black olives, and smoked game. In the mouth, the wine is medium to full-bodied and dense, but the high acidity and compressed, tightly-knit style make it difficult to penetrate. The finish is long, but the wine is backward and unyielding. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025.Robert Parker | 91 RPGood dark ruby color. Complex aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, tar, woodsmoke and game. Thick and complex in the mouth, with enough extract to buffer the bright acidity. The combination of firm, building tannins and lively acidity gives the finish a slight toughness today, but this should develop well in bottle. Quite perfumed on the after taste. Strong juice.Vinous Media | 89-91 VMQuite oaky, but very suave and smooth despite the massive tannins, which are ripe. Lots of blackberry, mocha and toasted bread character. Full-bodied and well made. Best from 2003 through 2010.Wine Spectator | 91 WS

As low as $185.00
1998 chave hermitage cathelin cuvee Hermitage

Reticent, minerally nose hints at great sweetness and ripeness; notes of blackberry and tar emerge with aeration. Round, rich and layered in the mouth; still quite closed but the wine extraordinary depth of flavor is already apparent. Slight suggestion of peppery austerity. Great intensity with no excess weight. Finishes with explosive length and noble tannins. This is essentially made up of Bessards for its tannic support, Meal for its sheer amplitude, and Peleat to round out the blend. This is likely to be the best Cathelin since the 1990, and is another legend in the making. It will also drive trophy collectors nuts, as there only about 2,500 bottles of this elixir, and a goodly number of them will never leave the Chaves’ caveVinous Media | 98+ VMThe opaque black/purple-colored 1998 Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin (200 cases) offers a huge nose of smoked licorice, blackberry, cassis, new saddle leather, and vanillin. Tasting like liqueur of Syrah, it is extremely full-bodied and awesomely concentrated, with formidable tannin as well as mind-blowing levels of extract and density. The tannin is sweet, and the wine seamless for a young Chave Hermitage.Robert Parker | 98 RPBeautiful red. Balanced, with a deft dose of mocha, spicy oak, red and black fruit and mineral notes. Its supple tannins fold nicely into the long finish, which tastes of grilled game and red berry jam. Drink now through 2015. 200 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

As low as $10,775.00
1999 guigal cote rotie la turque Cote Rotie

The 1999 Cote Rotie La Turque reveals notes of toasty vanilla and espresso in addition to Asian spices, mocha, pepper, blackberries, creosote, and roasted meats. The exotic perfume is followed by a wine with phenomenal intensity, sweet, well-integrated tannin, huge body, and loads of concentrated fruit. It is a tour de force in winemaking. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2025.What is so remarkable about this cuvee is its tremendous layers of flavor, awesome texture, and perfect balance. This is an astonishing offering from one of the world’s greatest winemakers.Robert Parker | 100 RPOffers terrific purity and density, with amazingly lush, creamy texture and waves of still very youthful blackberry and fig compote, mocha, black tea, sweet ganache and graphite. Seamless through the superlong finish, the combination of power and precision is rather amazing. Contains 7 percent Viognier.--1999 Côte-Rôtie non-blind retrospective. Drink now through 2030. 400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSFull bright ruby. Nose boasts great aromatic lift and urgency, with the classic griotte cherry of La Turque plus bitter chocolate and licorice. Less complex in the mouth today than La Mouline but precise, pure and extremely primary (especially given the fact that it’s been in barrel for a solid three years). Best today on the palate-staining finish. This is scheduled to be bottled in January of 2003 but probably could support even longer elevage.Vinous Media | 96+ VM

As low as $1,239.00
2000 chave hermitage cathelin cuvee Hermitage

Chave’s 2000 Cuvée Cathelin was monumental. It was a privilege to taste, but also a shame to open so early. If the 1991 seemed young, the 2000 came across as a veritable new-born. Antonio Galloni | 97 AGSurprisingly, there will be about 200 cases produced of a 2000 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin. Based on earlier visits, I thought this cuvee would not be produced again as the Chaves were embarrassed by all the attention previous offerings received. However, they will continue to produce it as long as it does not detract from their classic cuvee. The Cuvee Cathelin displays more new oak than the regular bottling as well as firmer tannin, yet also great length, palate presence, and structure. Boasting a chocolatey, blackberry nose, huge intensity, and super elegance and finesse, it will require 5-6 years of cellaring. Qualitatively, it is no better than its sibling, but does possess additional structure and new oak characteristics. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2040.This family-run estate continues to go from strength to strength, with the father and son (Gerard and Jean-Louis) team pushing all the right buttons to achieve success at all quality levels. Jean-Louis Chave is responsible for several negociant wines.Robert Parker | 96 RP

As low as $6,749.00
2001 Tardieu Laurent Hermitage

Deep, bright ruby-red. Superripe aromas of beefsteak tomato, gunflint and smoke, with a medicinal austerity lurking behind the wine’s roasted elements. Fat, dense and full; a lush, silky Hermitage of superb sweetness. Finishes with very sweet, suave tannins and lingering notes of dark berries and gunflint. Still, tasted next to the extraordinary Cote-Rotie this came across as almost too ripe.Vinous Media | 92 VMThe dark purple-colored 2001 Hermitage offers notes of creme de cassis interwoven with mineral, vanilla, and new oak characteristics, a sweet attack, and moderate tannin in the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2018.While the gifted Michel Tardieu has fashioned dense, powerful, backward 2001s, the quality is well behind that of such recent years as 1999, 1998, and 1997. Nevertheless, there are some strong offerings, particularly the two Cornas cuvees.Robert Parker | 89-91 RP

As low as $125.00
2004 chapoutier hermitage le pavillon Hermitage

This was Chapoutier’s initial microcuvée of Hermitage, bottled for the first time in 1989. The 2004 version is smoky and gamy, accented by pepper and a hint of rhubarb, but lush red fruit flavors take over on the palate, gliding easily across in a creamy mass that turns chewy on the finish. Drink 2010–2020.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WERuby-red. Vibrant raspberry and cherry skin scents are enlivened by zesty mineral and floral accents. Structured and chewy, with well-focused red fruit flavors, excellent depth and a graceful, silky texture on the finish. There’s a striking and impressive mix of bright and rich tones here. This comes from the lieu-dit Bessards.Vinous Media | 93 VMShows a supertight focus, with black currant, plum and blackberry fruit harnessed by supple tannins, dark cocoa and a buried minerality. The long finish really fleshes out nicely in the glass. Best from 2008 through 2017. 555 cases made, 85 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WSAll of the single vineyard Ermitages turned out as good as I had hoped, possibly even better. In short they are among the strongest wines one could hope for in this vintage. The 2004 Ermitage Le Pavillon is outstanding, but certainly not one of the most compelling wines Michel Chapoutier has made. It is dense, dark ruby/purple, and seems more austere and backward than the Le Meal, but I still think these are 15- to 20-year wines as opposed to the normal 50+ that the top vintages of these single vineyard Ermitages produce. Dense with black currant fruit intermixed with licorice, sweet blackberries, and white chocolate, this is an elegant, mid-weight Pavillon that should be drinking well in about 5-6 years and last 15-20.Robert Parker | 92 RP

As low as $250.00
2005 chapoutier hermitage lermite Hermitage

Lastly, from the very dome of the granite hill of Ermitage is the 2005 Ermitage l’Ermite. An extraordinarily powerful wine that probably needs 10-15 years in the bottle (last year I thought 20 was probably conservative), this is a 100-year wine and probably best appreciated by our descendants rather than anyone currently over the age of 30. Dense purple to the rim, with notes of crushed rock, charcoal, roasted meats, and enormous quantities of blue and black fruits, this wine is almost painfully rich and thick, with mouthsearing levels of tannin and zesty acidity. Monumental! Anticipated maturity: 2020-2080.With twenty vintages under his belt, Michel Chapoutier and his impressive winemaking staff go from strength to strength. These are among the world’s greatest wines, especially the single vineyard wines, many of which will last 50 or more years.The 2006 reds from Chapoutier display good acidity and freshness. If they lack the powerful tannic structures of the 2005s, and perhaps some of that vintage’s density, they are certainly not light wines. It is a vintage of finesse and concentration, but with considerable up-front charm. Again, 1991 is a useful historic reference. They are the perfect foil for those buying 2005s, which will require deferred gratification. The single-vineyard, or as Chapoutier calls them, the “Selections Parcellaires” wines, are all aged in small barrels, often 100% new oak, and bottled with neither fining nor filtration. Production is relatively small, with the tiniest cuvee, the Crozes-Hermitage Les Varonnieres usually 200-325 cases, and the rest of the single-vineyard wines averaging around 480-625 cases. The largest is usually the St.-Joseph Les Granits or the Ermitage Le Pavillon, which can be as high as 1,000 or so cases in an abundant vintage. Again, the 2005s all exhibit the vintage’s density, tannic structure, and long-term aging potential. At the same time, the 2006s at Chapoutier remind me of 1991, initially an underrated vintage of wines with ideal balance. If they lack the pure power and structure of 2005, they are well-served by their purity and equilibrium. There are four single-vineyard cuvees of Ermitage. Production is small, running from about 275-300 cases of Les Greffieux, 480-500 of Le Meal, 800-1,100 for Le Pavillon, and 200-600 for L’Ermite.Robert Parker | 99+ RPSupersleek and racy, with layers of red and black licorice snap, red and black currant, plum sauce, coffee, iron and violet. Incredibly long, with superb minerality that keeps it all harnessed, leaving a nearly salinelike feel on the tangy finish. A steel-plated red that should age beautifully. Best from 2010 through 2030. 308 cases made, 47 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 98 WSBright ruby. Heady bouquet of spiced red berries, kirsch, fresh flowers, Indian spices and minerals. A sweet, palate-staining midweight, with luscious raspberry and blueberry flavors, sneaky tannic grip and slow-building cherry-cola on the close. I love the texture and focus here.Vinous Media | 94 VM

As low as $2,475.00
2006 cayuse syrah bionic frog Washington Red

All of Christophe’s 2006 were stunners, and the 2006 Syrah Bionic Frog excels for its massive core of fruit, smoked herbs, chocolate, licorice and meaty aromatics. Brooding, backward, meaty and a little bloody, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness and big structure, yet always stays balanced, pure and layered. It’s a joy to drink today, but will cruise for another 10-15 years.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPStill a baby and showing very little evolution, the 2006 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog is the most meaty and savory of the vintages and delivers knockout aromas of ground pepper, smoked herbs, blood, ham, and rolled stone qualities on the nose. Incredibly perfumed, this full-bodied behemoth is impeccably proportioned on the palate and has brilliant concentration, a light, yet voluptuous texture, and a chewy, broad finish that just keeps on giving. While there’s no harm in drinking now, this beauty will continue to impress for another 15+ years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDRipe, complex, harmonious and multilayered, weaving its green olive, tobacco, ironstone and mineral flavors deftly through the ripe blackberry, boysenberry and plum flavors, finishing long and expressive. Best from 2011 through 2018. 456 cases made. —Wine Spectator | 96 WS(14.9% alcohol; harvested on September 13): Saturated dark red. Aromatic, high-toned but subdued nose offers complex hints of dried mushroom, asphalt, raw meat, minerals, smoke and soy sauce lifted by a violet note. Wonderfully sweet, velvety, powerful wine with a distinctly more savory character than the 2007, dominated today by notes of smoked meat, shiitake mushroom and dashi. (Yes, I took a detailed note without listing any fruit descriptors.) The firm whiplash of a finish features substantial dusty tannins and terrific grip. This wine is richer and broader than the 2007 but does not have that wine’s focus.Vinous Media | 93 VM

As low as $355.00
2006 chapoutier hermitage le pavillon Hermitage

Showing more minerality than the le Meal, yet more plushness and sexiness than the l’Ermite, the 2006 Ermitage le Pavillon is a tour de force that gives up sensational notes of crushed rocks, blackberries, currants, smoked meats and licorice. It shows a touch of iron and bloodiness with time in the glass, is full-bodied, seamless and incredibly layered on the palate. There’s no shortage of tannin either and this beauty needs 4-5 years of cellaring to hit full maturity, and will keep for another 2-3 decades.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPTightly wound, with a mix of loganberry, blueberry and blackberry fruit all laced with espresso, loam and black tea hints. The dense, graphite-filled finish has a lot of unwinding to do. Best from 2011 through 2025. 1,177 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSLe Pavillon is drawn from Les Bessards, the most granitic of Hermitage’s climats, resulting in a wine with pronounced structure and minerailty. Hints of cinnamon and clove join plum and crushed stone on the nose, while the concentrated flavors suggest iron or beef blood as well. Drink 2015–2030.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEInky purple. Explosively perfumed, seductive aromas of raspberry, mulberry, potpourri and burning incense. Candied floral and sweet dark berry flavors saturate the palate, with fine-grained tannins lending shape. Tightens up on the finish, with the red berry and floral notes echoing. A real mouthful of sweet, energetic fruit: I’d give it some time to move past the primary fruit stage but it’s gorgeous right now.Vinous Media | 93 VM

As low as $590.00
2007 cayuse syrah bionic frog Washington Red

As is common with this wine, the 2007 Bionic Frog is showing even better now than on release and offers up a ripe, dense, and meaty profile that has more in common with the ‘08 than the structured and firm ’09. It has aromas of peppered beef, green peppercorns, lavender, bacon fat, and the expected minerality giving way to a full-bodied, layered, and perfectly put together palate that has a decadent, thick texture, superb balance, and a blockbuster finish. Hard to fault and this is a profound Syrah that will benefit from an additional 2-3 years of bottle age, and drink beautifully for 20 years or more.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDOften considered the iconic Cayuse wine, this bears the cartoonish label with the leering frog, though it is a single-vineyard offering like the others. Initially showing some fat and sweetness, it is supple and textural, with the density that comes from a mix of flavors: pain grillé, smoke, umami, fungus, coffee grounds and dark fruits. A richly organic compendium of scents and flavors, with black tea tannins.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WEThis is holding on beautifully with subtle meat, spice and tea aromas as well as ripe fruits. Full-bodied, layered and very flavorful with fantastic depth and length. Superb wine. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 97 JSLike the 2007 Cailloux Vineyard, the 2007 Syrah Bionic Frog is perfumed and complex, with gorgeous garrigue, dried flowers, olive tapenade and liquid rock aromas balanced nicely by a core of sweet red and black raspberry fruit. I’d like to see more mid-palate depth here, but this is pure silk on the palate and it shows the sexy, supple nature of the vintage beautifully. Possessing lots of polished tannin, beautifully pure fruit and no shortage of length, it’s a beautiful wine to enjoy anytime over the coming decade.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThis has tremendous presence, graceful but forceful, playing out its flavors of plum, currant, black pepper and licorice against a background that hints at warm granite, cinnamon bark and bay leaf. Complex and harmonious. Drink now through 2020. 476 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(14.9% alcohol; harvested on September 18): Full, deep red. Wild aromas of raspberry, black olive tapenade, leather, meat and brown sugar, plus a mushroom nuance. Rich, plush, hugely mouthfilling wine with extravagant flavors of black raspberry, pepper, salami, leather and porcini; this bottle is crying out for a hunk of (raw) meat. Boasts outstanding sweetness and a great spreading, horizontal finish featuring substantial dusty tannins. From a very warm year that was affected by some rain in the middle of the harvest, but Baron told me he picked these vines first (as is typically the case), before the precipitation.Vinous Media | 94 VM

As low as $365.00
2008 cayuse syrah bionic frog Washington Red

Initially a rather subdued Frog; as if it has been tamed down. Then, suddenly, There’s a plush core of blackberry fruit, and the classic Cayuse funkiness is there, drenched in liquid rocks and cured meat and drying tannins. It’s all in proportion and a fine reflection of the steely vintage. As it opens gracefully you discover that it is a stunningly refined Frog, quite possibly the best ever; powerful and distinctive, but also elegant, feminine.Wine Enthusiast | 100 WEVery pure and deep, with off the charts levels of concentration and texture, the 2008 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog is up there with the ’07 in terms of quality. It offers up exotic, perfumed aromas of crème de cassis, smoked meat, pan drippings, chocolate, and wild herbs, with a searing level of minerality coming through with air. Full-bodied and incredibly pure and layered, with gorgeous richness and density that somehow comes across as light and deft, this knockout Syrah could still use another handful of years in the cellar, yet is approachable now, and has another 15+ years of longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDI thought the 2008 Syrah Bionic Frog was insanely good. Checking in at 14.4% natural alcohol (the 2009 was 14.7 and the 2010 14.8), it has soaring notes of cassis, black raspberries, violets, white flowers, mint and olives to go with a full-bodied, ultra-pure, silky, yet concentrated and layered feel on the palate. One of the more elegant, silky and finesse driven examples of this cuvee, it has heavenly aromatics and will have upward of two decades of longevity.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP(14.4% alcohol; picked on October 2 in a growing season that feature rain during the third week of September): Good medium-dark red. Wild, flamboyantly Old World aromas of raspberry, leather, game, woodsmoke, thyme and rosemary. Wonderfully plush, full wine with great mouth coverage to its flavors of black raspberry, charred oak and aged beef. Finishes with firm-edged tannins and terrific length and purity, displaying a note of lavender and a subtle, slightly cool bitterness in a positive way without losing its essential silkiness of texture. Baron noted that the vines gained hang time from the rain, and he was able to vinify with 65% whole clusters.Vinous Media | 95 VMThis 1.8ha vineyard, whose name means ladybug, was planted in 1998. The terroir was created by a series of floods some 15,000 years ago, leaving behind basalt cobbles and boulders loaded with iron. Rain in the third week of September stopped everything, and Baron had to wait to pick. Luckily the weather turned fine and 2008 ended up, he says, a ’great vintage’. He used more than 60% whole clusters and this was the last vintage he aged Bionic Frog in barrique. There’s lots of power here but also wonderful succulence, lift and a silky texture, plus enticing gamey, smoky and leathery aromas. Drinking Window 2019 - 2025.Decanter | 94 DECSilky, supple, generous and complex, with black and green olive, licorice and black tea nuances to the sweet plum and fresh currant fruit, lingering effortlessly. Drink now through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 475 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

As low as $345.00
2008 tua rita syrah Super Tuscan/IGT

The 2008 Syrah is a big, expressive wine loaded with varietal character. Iron, minerals, bacon fat and blackberries are just some of the nuances that blossom in this striking wine. All of the aromas and flavors build towards the exciting, viscerally thrilling finish. I have said it before, and I will say it again. The Syrah is the most distinctive wine at Tua Rita. This is a great, great bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028.This is a fabulous set of wines from Stefano Frascolla and Tua Rita. The 2008s show the real class of the year in Maremma.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2008 Syrah is a big, expressive wine loaded with varietal character. Iron, minerals, bacon fat and blackberries are just some of the nuances that blossom in this striking wine. All of the aromas and flavors build towards the exciting, viscerally thrilling finish. I have said it before, and I will say it again. The Syrah is the most distinctive wine at Tua Rita. This is a great, great bottle.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGMeaty and rich with decadent aromas. Full and juicy with lots of fruit and soft tannins. Black pepper and dark fruits.I like the voluptuous style to this. Why wait? But better in 2013.James Suckling | 95 JSThis is really delicious, with meat, berry and game aromas and flavors. Full and decadent—just how I like my Syrah. One of the best Syrahs in Tuscany. Best after 2011.Wine Spectator | 94 WSRita’s blockbuster Syrah oozes thick, inky concentration with luscious layers of ripe fruit, blueberry, leather and bitter dark chocolate. You’ll sense cedar wood and licorice as well and the mouthfeel is super soft and smooth. Drink after 2015.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

As low as $410.00
2009 cayuse syrah bionic frog Washington Red

Deep, meaty, and incredibly savory, the 2009 Cayuse Syrah Bionic Frog is dark ruby/purple and offers up a knockout, textbook northern Rhône bouquet of meaty black cherry fruit, pan drippings, bacon fat, peat moss, ground pepper, and searing minerality. Every bit as good on the palate, this full-bodied, structured Syrah is gorgeously concentrated and rich, while at the same time, staying very light on the palate, with brilliant focus, precision, and length. It’s the most firm and structured of the ‘09s, without much baby fat, and needs lots of air to shows at its best. It will ideally be given 3-5 years of bottle age, and should have two decades of longevity.Jeb Dunnuck | 98+ JDLike the 2009 Cailloux, the 2009 Syrah Bionic Frog was closed aromatically, yet offered incredible depth, richness and purity on the palate. Reluctantly giving up lots of dark fruits, chocolate, mineral and roasted herbs, as well as more exotic notes of blood orange and mint, this inky colored, full-bodied, beautifully concentrated Syrah should be forgotten for 3-4 years, yet will have 20 years or more of overall longevity.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPThe Frog is a bit reductive, a bit shy in 2009 and needs extra decanting. With proper breathing time, it shows inviting notes of violets and strawberries, and it gains concentration through the midpalate, with additions of cherry and an almost liquid minerality. An almost delicate version of this wine.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WEFocused, with nice density to the juicy blueberry and black plum flavors, hinting at black pepper, Lapsang souchong tea and tar as the finish sails on and on. Shows presence and depth, deftly balanced on the finish. Drink now through 2019. 437 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS(14.7% alcohol; picked on September 22): Dark red-ruby. Fresh but a bit stunted on the nose, hinting at olive tapenade, truffle, black pepper, furry game and Herbes de Provence (Baron mentioned "hare entrails"). Wonderfully juicy, sweet and ripe but also firmly built and powerful, and not yet showing the compelling smoky, earthy complexity of the more recent vintages. Notes of chocolate and menthol convey a hot-year character but there’s still plenty of verve here, not to mention brooding black raspberry fruit that needs more time in bottle to express itself and expand. Finishes very long, with building tannins. This wine was very tight when I originally tasted it back in 2012 and it’s every bit as inscrutable today.Vinous Media | 92+ VM

As low as $415.00
2009 guigal cote rotie la turque Cote Rotie

Another perfect wine is the 2009 Cote Rotie La Turque. It possesses a slightly denser purple color than the opaque Cote Rotie La Mouline as well as notes of Asian spices, roasted meats, bouquet garni, spring flowers, camphor and truffles. It is a different expression of Syrah as this comes from the more iron-laden soils of the Cote Brune. Although never as aromatic, precocious or enjoyable as La Mouline is in its youth, La Turque is, nevertheless, a remarkably concentrated, profound wine that is built like a skyscraper. It possesses a level of intensity and richness that must be tasted to be believed. Despite the flamboyant personality of the vintage, the 2009 will require 4-5 years of cellaring and should age effortlessly for 25-30 years.Robert Parker | 100 RPPossibly my favorite vintage ever for the Northern Rhône (2010 and 2015 are both in the running), the 2009 Côte Rôtie La Turque is a mammoth of wine that offers everything you could want. Deep purple/plum-hued, this full-bodied, thick, opulent Côte Rôtie offers loads of sweet tannins, a deep, layered mid-palate, and straight-up heavenly notes of smoked meats, Asian spices, bacon fat, espresso roast, and loads of sweet, perfectly ripe black fruits. It’s much more opulent and sexy than the more classically built 2010 (and 2005 and 2015) and if this doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will. It’s going to shine for another 2-3 decades.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDA pure, unadulterated raspberry confiture aroma and flavor is the dominant note today in this deep and expressive red, with extra singed anise, alder, juniper and black currant notes filling in the background, followed by a very dense yet supremely polished finish. Features the weight and density of this fleshy vintage, but the fruit is so inviting this is almost approachable now. Better to wait though. Best from 2015 through 2035. 400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 98 WSDark purple. Sexy, expansive aromas of boysenberry, violet and incense, with a bright mineral quality adding lift. Offers an array of ripe, luscious black and blue fruit and floral flavors that become spicier with air. Sappy, broad and sweet on the gently tannic finish, which shows superb clarity and persistence.Vinous Media | 95 VM

As low as $625.00
2009 Le Macchiole Scrio

Bold and complex, this Syrah opens with intense, superrich notes of chocolate fudge, maraschino cherry, tobacco, sweet spice and rum cake. Smooth, elegant and persistent, this amazing expression boasts ripe fruit tannins. Drink after 2016.Wine Enthusiast | 97 WECurrant bush and blueberry aromas follow through to a full to medium body, with medium tannins and a chocolate, berry and vanilla bean after taste. Syrah. Better in 2014.James Suckling | 93 JSBright, saturated medium ruby. Lush aromas of red cherry, milk chocolate, Oriental spices and black pepper. Then also lush and sweet on the front half, with sexy, aromatic red fruit flavors displaying appealing creaminess and excellent depth. Most impressive today on the expanding, sweetly tannic back end, which conveys a strong impression of dry extract and comes across as ripe and complex. Syrah handled the heat of 2009 much better than merlot did, but that’s no surprise.Vinous Media | 92+ VMThe 2009 Scrio (Syrah) is a dark, brooding wine layered with the essence of smoke, tar, graphite, plums and blackberries. Firm tannins convey serious structure in this full-bodied, intense wine. Today the oak is a bit dominant, although the 2009 has an attractive sense of underlying minerality. At the same time, the 2009 lacks any sense of varietal expression and is also quite distant from previous years in terms of its personality. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.I tasted Le Macchiole’s 2009s several times, all with the same results. The 2009 vintage was a difficult one in Maremma because of the hot summer. All of Le Macchiole’s top wines are single-varietal bottlings, which means there is not much that can be done in the cellar to adjust blends, something so many other wineries are able to do in challenging vintages. Overall, the 2009s don’t reach the heights that are customary at Le Macchiole.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RPMarked by vanilla and toast notes from the new oak, this red is slick and modern. The black currant and blackberry flavors are fresh and the wine ends with a Bourbonlike aftertaste. Ambitious, and has potential. Syrah. Best from 2014 through 2026. 20 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

As low as $275.00
2010 guigal hermitage ex voto Hermitage

The 2010 Hermitage Ex Voto continues to top out on my scale. This extraordinary Hermitage has more minerality and delineation than the 2009, as well as overflowing aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, jammy blackberries, violets, graphite and wood smoke. Massively concentrated, full-bodied, decadent, layered and sexy, it needs short-term cellaring but should be just about immortal in the cellar.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThis has lavish range, with intense steeped plum, anise, pain d’épices, singed apple wood and fruitcake notes layered together, framed by smoldering charcoal and sweet tobacco accents and riveted to a tarry spine. Expands like a fractal in the glass to display enormous depth and length. Features mouthwatering cut from start to finish despite the heft. An extremely impressive wine that will need some time to stretch out fully. Best from 2018 through 2040. 600 cases made, 120 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 98 WSInky purple. A wild, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, incense, olive paste and smoky minerals. Sweet, penetrating and pure, offering palate-staining boysenberry and cassis flavors and suggestions of candied licorice and fruitcake. Densely packed yet lively, finishing with remarkable power and smooth tannins that add shape and grip.Vinous Media | 95 VM

As low as $349.00

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