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Syrah Wines

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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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

97
RP
As low as $735.00
1995 guigal cote rotie la landonne Cote Rotie

One of the treats when tasting through the profound Côte Rôties made by Marcel Guigal was the opportunity to taste all of the bottled 1995's. Reviewed in previous issues, they are even better from bottle than they were during their upbringing (a characteristic of many Guigal wines). The 1995 Côte Rôtie la Landonne is the stuff of legends and is every bit as compelling as readers might expect. This single vineyard wine will have at least 2 decades of longevity.Robert Parker | 99 RPDeep ruby-red. More sauvage aromas of black raspberry, blueberry, tar, mocha, minerals, mace and roasted game. Superconcentrated and powerful, with a near-solid texture. One of those rare wines that seems almost too big for the mouth. Finishes with huge, toothfurring-but-ripe tannins and great persistence.Vinous Media | 97 VMA full-bodied Syrah in an international-style that's complex and seductive, layered with cinnamon, toasted oak, plum, game, smoke, mineral and black fruit flavors. Turns massively tannic on the finish. Balanced and elegant despite the obvious richness, it's tempting on release, but needs a bit of time to tame the tannins. Drink now through 2015. 1,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WS

95
RP
As low as $725.00
1998 penfolds grange hermitage Australia Red

A wine that flirts with perfection, and should rival the 1986 as one of the legendary Granges produced, the 1998 has one of the highest alcohol contents (nearly 15%) as well as one of the highest percentages of Shiraz in the blend (97%). Its stunning purple color is accompanied by exceptionally sweet aromas of blackberry liqueur intermixed with barbecue spices, an endearing, smoky earthiness, pepper, roasted meats, and coffee. Huge, massive, unctuously textured, and extraordinarily youthful, this impressive wine is a candidate for perfection. It should continue to evolve over the next three decades.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 | 98+ RPVery deep red-ruby. Smoky, deeply concentrated fruit bomb of a nose: blackberry, dark plum, cassis; creamy vanilla and lightly toasty coconutty oak; and ethereal background notes of white pepper, smoked meats, musky spices, tar and licorice. Profoundly concentrated but velvety-smooth and seamless; impressively muscular and thickly coated with oak, and bound by drying, astringent tannins. Without question the most concentrated Grange of all time, utterly steeped in blackberry flavors; a real show pony. It’s also the most alcoholic Grange ever made, and at a declared 14.5% does taste warm and spirity - the first Grange to do so. It also ventures to some degree into the realm of currant and prune. No doubt a brilliant wine, but only time will tell if, with its elevated alcohol and its superripe flavors, this 1998 version ranks with the very best Grange vintages.Vinous Media | 97 VMA wine of surprising subtlety for the vintage, playing its ripe cherry, red plum and herb flavors against firm tannins that have a bit of grit to them. But those lively cherry and raspberry flavors burst through, and there’s a nice hint of green herbs lingering around the finish, which doesn’t subside easily.--Australian reds blind retrospective. 9,000 cases made.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

99
RP-HG
As low as $675.00
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

96
RP
As low as $6,749.00
2005 guigal cote rotie la mouline Cote Rotie

Doing everything right and one of the best young wines I’ve ever tasted, the 2005 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline offers extraordinarily complex and nuanced aromatics of smoked bacon, chocolate, toast, and hints of flowers that are integrated perfectly with the deep raspberry and blackberry fruit profile that only Côte-Rôtie can deliver. Full bodied, dense, concentrated, and seamless on the palate, with a gorgeously suave and silky texture, perfect balance, and ultra fine tannin structure. Despite the structure here, this maintains a subtle elegance and weightlessness that is nothing short of captivating. An awesome wine, I would cellar bottles for a decade, and then drink over the following 20 or so years.Jeb Dunnuck | 100 JDSimilar to the powerful 1988, the inky/purple-colored, dense 2005 Cote Rotie La Mouline offers a stunning perfume of espresso roast, licorice, pepper, blackberries, and black cherries intermixed with hints of chocolate and spring flowers. Powerful, super-concentrated, and ruggedly-constructed with a boatload of tannin, this is a wine to forget for 4-5 years, and drink over the following 25-30. It is the densest, most tannic vintage of La Mouline since 1988.Robert Parker | 100 RPExtremely dense, with Turkish coffee and bittersweet cocoa notes leading the way for a huge core of macerated plum and currant fruit, with warm fig reduction and hoisin sauce notes. The long, graphite- and toast-driven finish sails on and on. Best from 2012 through 2030. 415 cases made.Wine Spectator | 99 WSVivid ruby. Sexy black raspberry and floral aromas are complicated by smoky minerals, Asian spices and a whiff of smoke. Silky, alluringly sweet red and dark berry flavors pack serious punch but come off as weightless, with tangy minerality adding spine and precision. Showing more elegance than last year: its finishing lift, clarity and sweetness comes across as distinctly Burgundian. This suave wine is surprisingly open-knit but I'd wait a while before opening a bottle.Vinous Media | 96 VM

100
RP
As low as $689.00
2006 penfolds grange hermitage Australia Red

Made from fruit coming predominantly from the Barossa Valley this year (97%) and containing 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2006 Grange has been added to my list of favorite recent vintages. Deep garnet-purple colored, it’s still a little youthfully mute, offering notes of warm cherries, black currants, anise, coffee and toast with underlying hints of soy, yeast extract, black olives and Indian spices. Tight-knit and solidly structured on the medium to full-bodied palate, the concentrated fruit is densely coiled around the firm grainy tannins and very crisp acidity at this stage, but promises something very special in the years to come. It finishes very long, complex and layered with the cedar poking through the fruit purity. Patience is required for this vintage; it should begin opening out around 2016 and drink to 2030+.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RPBeautifully aromatic, with scents of blueberry, plum, cherry, coffee and toasted walnut rising from the glass with intensity. After a hit of tannins the rich, focused fruit flavors take over, showing glints of pepper, mint and cocoa and lingering effortlessly. Best from 2016 through 2030. 2,000 cases imported. — HSWine Spectator | 98 WSContaining 98% Shiraz and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 100% new American oak hogsheads for 18 months, the 2006 Penfolds Grange is tightly wound and dense, possessing a core of smoky black fruits, lots of oak, espresso roast, dried spice, and mineral characteristics on both the nose and palate. Powerful, rich, and beautifully balanced on the palate, with a serious, concentrated, medium to full bodied feel, crisp acids, and a very long, tannic and structured finish, this age-worthy beauty needs a solid 5-8 years in the cellar to fully integrate its components, and should have a very long drink window.Jeb Dunnuck | 96+ JD(98% shiraz and 2% cabernet sauvignon): Deep ruby. Highly aromatic nose offers black raspberry, cherry pit, potpourri and minerals. Dense, lush and sweet but very energetic, offering spicy red and dark berry, dark chocolate, rose pastille and licorice flavors complemented by spicy, sweet oak. Shows bitter chocolate and cherry-cola nuances on the extremely persistent, spice-accented finish. This should be approachable on the young side.Vinous Media | 94 VMNot quite the massive monster that is the 2004 Grange, the 2006 is still no shrinking violet. It’s full bodied, muscular and extracted, and while the flavors veer toward espresso and dark chocolate, there’s also a ribbon of raspberry fruit running through the wine from start to long, dusty finish. Drink 2015–2025, and probably beyond.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEA balanced and intense red, with sliced meat, blackberries and spices. Full body, with silky and refine tannins and hints of new wood. Sweet tobacco and plums. A little shy now. Give it three to four years.James Suckling | 93 JS

98+
RP
As low as $1,199.00
2007 guigal cote rotie la landonne Cote Rotie

The 2007 Cote Rotie La Landonne exhibits notes of black olives, graphite, smoked meats, new saddle leather and pepper. Meaty, rich and full-bodied, it is not as silky textured, voluptuous or flamboyant as its siblings. Forget it for 5-7 years and drink it over the following three decades.The following paragraph is taken from issue #193, but I believe it is so important to understand the Guigal philosophy that I am repeating it verbatim. “As I have written many times before, no one in the wine world is better at ‘raising’ a wine (or as the French call it elevage) than Marcel Guigal, who learned the skills from his father, Etienne. Because everyone tends to focus on vintage conditions and terroir, the importance of a wine’s elevage is often overlooked, but Guigal’s unusually long tank, foudre and small barrel aging regime for all his red wines as well as several of his whites results in an array of remarkable wines time and time again. Even the most challenging vintages, which often taste under-nourished, vegetal and thin in their first year or two of life, tend to take on concentration and character, turning out to be some of the finest wines in many of the most difficult Rhone vintages. Moreover, Guigal’s wines always taste better out of bottle than from barrel, which speaks to his honesty and integrity as well as to his brilliance in deciding how long to age a wine in wood or tank, as well as choosing the perfect moment to bottle it. None of this is as simple as it might sound, and that’s why Marcel Guigal gets my vote as the reigning genius in terms of the upbringing of his wines.” Crozes-Hermitage has become one of the Guigal “go-to” wines for value hunters and he has raised the level of this humble appellation dramatically with his recent efforts. Cote Rotie was what made Marcel Guigal and his father, Etienne, famous. The Guigals are the largest landholders in Cote Rotie and produce 35-40% of this hallowed appellation’s production. Five cuvees are produced in every vintage, the three single vineyard offerings, the Chateau d’Ampuis (a blend of top sites aged 38 months in 100% new French oak casks), and their largest production offering, the Brune et Blonde (which is aged in small barrels and usually co-fermented with 3-5% Viognier depending on the vintage). Along with Michel Chapoutier’s St.-Joseph Les Granits, Guigal’s St.-Joseph Vignes de l’Hospice is the top wine of the appellation. Guigal purchased this 8-acre parcel of steep hillside vines from Grippat. Aged 30 months in 100% new oak, this wine is extraordinary. Guigal claims the soil is reminiscent of Les Bessards Vineyard in Hermitage Over the last decade, Guigal has dramatically increased his vineyard holdings in Hermitage, purchasing the estates of Jean-Louis Grippat as well as the Hermitage holdings of De Vallouit. He now has parcels in such famed vineyards as Le Meal, Les Beaumes, Les Bessards and Dionnieres. Guigal’s basic red Hermitage (which has been made for over five decades) is generally aged for more than three years in small casks, of which about 45% are new. In exceptional vintages, Guigal will cull out a special cuvee called Ex-Voto, which is aged 42 months in 100% new French oak. One thousand cases are usually made from three separate vineyards (40% from Les Bessards, 40% from Les Greffieux and 20% from Les Murets.) Guigal owns the spectacular Chateau d’Ampuis on the banks of the Rhone River. His son, Philippe, lives here and this is where they produce their wood barrels from long-aged wood staves they purchase 3 to 5 years in advance. This wine, which comes from a blend of such extraordinary vineyards as La Garde, Le Clos, Grande-Plantee, Pommiere, Pavillon, Le Moulin and La Viria, is aged 38 months in 100% new French oak. Production is approximately 2,000 cases in a good year. The three single vineyard Cote Roties are among the world’s top fifty wines ever made. Their differences become apparent around age 8-10 and are dramatically different by age 15. The first vintage of La Landonne was 1978, La Turque was 1985 and La Mouline was 1966. La Mouline is always the sexiest and easiest to appreciate young as it is co-fermented with 11% Viognier. La Turque is co-fermented with 5-6% Viognier and La Landonne is 100% Syrah. La Mouline comes from the Cote Blonde, which has lighter soils (hence the name), and La Turque and La Landonne emerge from the Cote Brune. La Mouline is made from the oldest vines (60-65 years) and is vinified using pump over techniques. From relatively young vines (about 20 years of age), La Turque is vinified by punching down. La Landonne is vinified using the modern system of the cap being immersed. The results are three very different wines, although all of them spend 42 months in 100% new French oak, are barely racked, have minimal levels of SO2, and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.Robert Parker | 97+ RPThis is very backward, with smoldering tobacco and charcoal up front, holding the dense core of black currant, anise and hoisin sauce at bay for now. Sage, sweet tapenade and bittersweet cocoa all roll as the grip takes over on the back end. A gutsy wine, with a charcoal- and singed iron–filled finish. Best from 2013 through 2026. 1,000 cases made. — JMWine Spectator | 97 WSVivid purple. Heady aromas of candied red and dark fruits, incense, violet and smoky minerals. Cherry-cola and blackberry compote flavors show an intriguing blend of richness and vivacity, with bright mineral snap on the back half. Finishes sappy, sweet and extremely long, with resonating floral and spice notes. This wine blends the richness and power of the Turque with the vivacity of the Mouline and should age effortlessly.Vinous Media | 95 VM

97
RP
As low as $369.00
2007 guigal cote rotie la turque Cote Rotie

While this vintage wasn’t a slam dunk for the Northern Rhône like it was in the Southern Rhône, the 2007 Côte Rôtie La Turque is straight-up brilliant juice and a candidate for the wine of the vintage. Upfront and ready to go, with rocking notes of smoked meats, black olives, truffle oil, blackberries, and blackcurrants, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, no hard edges, and a seamless, silky texture that needs to be tasted to be believed. It’s a gorgeous wine in every sense. Drink it over the coming 15-20 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2007 Cote Rotie La Turque’s inky/blue/purple color is followed by aromas of asphalt, charcoal, graphite, barbecue smoke, roasted meats/aged beef, blackberries, cassis and violets. With huge body, massive concentration, silky tannins, sweet glycerin and a layered, multidimensional mouthfeel, it can be drunk now or cellared for 25 years.The following paragraph is taken from issue #193, but I believe it is so important to understand the Guigal philosophy that I am repeating it verbatim. “As I have written many times before, no one in the wine world is better at ‘raising’ a wine (or as the French call it elevage) than Marcel Guigal, who learned the skills from his father, Etienne. Because everyone tends to focus on vintage conditions and terroir, the importance of a wine’s elevage is often overlooked, but Guigal’s unusually long tank, foudre and small barrel aging regime for all his red wines as well as several of his whites results in an array of remarkable wines time and time again. Even the most challenging vintages, which often taste under-nourished, vegetal and thin in their first year or two of life, tend to take on concentration and character, turning out to be some of the finest wines in many of the most difficult Rhone vintages. Moreover, Guigal’s wines always taste better out of bottle than from barrel, which speaks to his honesty and integrity as well as to his brilliance in deciding how long to age a wine in wood or tank, as well as choosing the perfect moment to bottle it. None of this is as simple as it might sound, and that’s why Marcel Guigal gets my vote as the reigning genius in terms of the upbringing of his wines.” Crozes-Hermitage has become one of the Guigal “go-to” wines for value hunters and he has raised the level of this humble appellation dramatically with his recent efforts. Cote Rotie was what made Marcel Guigal and his father, Etienne, famous. The Guigals are the largest landholders in Cote Rotie and produce 35-40% of this hallowed appellation’s production. Five cuvees are produced in every vintage, the three single vineyard offerings, the Chateau d’Ampuis (a blend of top sites aged 38 months in 100% new French oak casks), and their largest production offering, the Brune et Blonde (which is aged in small barrels and usually co-fermented with 3-5% Viognier depending on the vintage). Along with Michel Chapoutier’s St.-Joseph Les Granits, Guigal’s St.-Joseph Vignes de l’Hospice is the top wine of the appellation. Guigal purchased this 8-acre parcel of steep hillside vines from Grippat. Aged 30 months in 100% new oak, this wine is extraordinary. Guigal claims the soil is reminiscent of Les Bessards Vineyard in Hermitage Over the last decade, Guigal has dramatically increased his vineyard holdings in Hermitage, purchasing the estates of Jean-Louis Grippat as well as the Hermitage holdings of De Vallouit. He now has parcels in such famed vineyards as Le Meal, Les Beaumes, Les Bessards and Dionnieres. Guigal’s basic red Hermitage (which has been made for over five decades) is generally aged for more than three years in small casks, of which about 45% are new. In exceptional vintages, Guigal will cull out a special cuvee called Ex-Voto, which is aged 42 months in 100% new French oak. One thousand cases are usually made from three separate vineyards (40% from Les Bessards, 40% from Les Greffieux and 20% from Les Murets.) Guigal owns the spectacular Chateau d’Ampuis on the banks of the Rhone River. His son, Philippe, lives here and this is where they produce their wood barrels from long-aged wood staves they purchase 3 to 5 years in advance. This wine, which comes from a blend of such extraordinary vineyards as La Garde, Le Clos, Grande-Plantee, Pommiere, Pavillon, Le Moulin and La Viria, is aged 38 months in 100% new French oak. Production is approximately 2,000 cases in a good year. The three single vineyard Cote Roties are among the world’s top fifty wines ever made. Their differences become apparent around age 8-10 and are dramatically different by age 15. The first vintage of La Landonne was 1978, La Turque was 1985 and La Mouline was 1966. La Mouline is always the sexiest and easiest to appreciate young as it is co-fermented with 11% Viognier. La Turque is co-fermented with 5-6% Viognier and La Landonne is 100% Syrah. La Mouline comes from the Cote Blonde, which has lighter soils (hence the name), and La Turque and La Landonne emerge from the Cote Brune. La Mouline is made from the oldest vines (60-65 years) and is vinified using pump over techniques. From relatively young vines (about 20 years of age), La Turque is vinified by punching down. La Landonne is vinified using the modern system of the cap being immersed. The results are three very different wines, although all of them spend 42 months in 100% new French oak, are barely racked, have minimal levels of SO2, and are bottled unfined and unfiltered.Robert Parker | 97 RPVery distinctive, with ganache and espresso aromas and well-structured layers of blackberry, mulled plum, roasted spice, anise and charred apple wood. This has ample grip, but stays polished and integrated, allowing for an almost caressing mouthfeel despite its obvious density. One of the most concentrated wines in the vintage. Best from 2012 through 2025. 400 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSOpaque ruby. Dark berries, cherry-cola, licorice and Indian spices on the pungent nose. Deeply pitched blackberry and floral and licorice pastille flavors brighten with air and show an intense spicy quality, along with a touch of mocha. Clings tenaciously on the finish, which strongly repeats the cherry and licorice notes. In a more brooding style than the Mouline and years away from maturity.Vinous Media | 93+ VM

97
RP
As low as $395.00
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

98+
JD
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

100
RP
As low as $625.00
2009 michel ogier cote rotie lancement Cote Rotie

The virtually perfect 2009 Cote Rotie Lancement Cote Blonde is stunningly perfumed with notes of black raspberries, blackberries, graphite, forest floor, tapenade and subtle smoke. Silky tannins, a phenomenal skyscraper-like mouthfeel and a sensational finish with light to moderate tannin suggest it will benefit from 2-4 more years of bottle age, and should drink well for two decades or more. Ogier's wines just keep getting better and better, so if you haven't yet jumped on the Ogier bandwagon, it's time to do so. Michel Ogier, and more recently his son, Stephane, are the leading craftsmen in terms of wines from the steep hillsides north of the old Roman town of Vienne. These are still entitled to only a VDP designation, but current vintages are the finest he has yet produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 99 RPA muscular red, with an almost brooding feel, as steeped blackberry and black currant fruit rolls along, spiked with pastis-soaked plum, charcoal and dark tobacco, followed by a long finish filled with black olive and iron. Riveting acidity keeps everything marching along with purpose. Shows terrific range and character. Best from 2014 through 2026. 30 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSOpaque ruby. Vibrant raspberry, cherry-vanilla and incense aromas are complemented by candied licorice and smoky minerals. Pliant, palate-staining red and dark berry preserve flavors are enlivened by Asian spices and a hint of blood orange. Shows outstanding clarity and cut, with gentle tannins adding shape and focus to the strikingly long, sweet, pure finish.Vinous Media | 95 VM

99
RP
As low as $299.00
2010 clape cornas Rhone Red

Eclipsing even the 2009, the 2010 Cornas achieved one of the highest natural alcohol levels (14%) ever recorded at Clape. This complex, inky/purple-colored effort boasts abundant notes of charcoal, licorice, blackberries and blueberries intermixed with a hint of scorched earth (or is it charcoal embers?), a full-bodied mouthfeel, a seamless personality and a crushed rock-like minerality. The tannins are so sweet it will be drinkable in 2-3 years, and should keep for 25 or more. It is a tour de force in what Syrah can achieve in this hallowed appellation. Kudos to the Clape family, especially Pierre-Marie.An historic reference point in Cornas is the estate of the retired Auguste Clape, which has been run over the last decade by his talented son, Pierre-Marie. This estate may have produced their finest wines to date in 2009, but the 2011s and 2010s rival anything produced at this family-owned, tiny boutique producer. They offer two cuvees of Cornas with the Renaissance representing their younger vines (although most of those are between 30 and 50 years of age). The top cuvee, simply called Cornas, has been a favorite of mine since the late seventies.Robert Parker | 100 RPAn exceptional vintage in the Northern Rhône has produced a very full, lush and ripe style here. It has all the tannin and structure you could hope for, and it’s searingly fresh, with delicious juicy berry fruits and an exceptionally long finish. It’s a tempestuous style, ferric and violet-tinged at the same time. A great vintage for Clape, a soaring wine. Drinking Window 2023 - 2045.Decanter | 99 DECA fantastic wine from an epic vintage, the 2010 Clape Cornas is still at least five years away from hitting its stride, and I suspect it will still be impressing lucky wine-lovers for at least a decade after that. A hugely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black/blue fruits, candied flowers, incense, olive paste and Moroccan spices, with only a hint of gaminess in the background. Deeply concentrated and energetic, there’s an uncanny balance of richness and energy to the sweet black currant, cherry preserve and fruitcake flavors. Fine-grained tannins make a late appearance but are quickly absorbed by the lush, creamy fruit. I’d be in no hurry to drink this, but with a bit of aeration it’s a stunner.Vinous Media | 98 VMRock-solid and well-built, with a frame of charcoal and tar around a core of dark plum, blackberry and black currant fruit, revealing loads of tobacco, singed bay leaf and graphite notes in reserve. This should age beautifully, showing excellent range, character and definition. Best from 2017 through 2030. 228 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

100
RP
As low as $445.00
2010 guigal cote rotie chateau dampuis Cote Rotie

More closed than when I tasted it earlier this year, the 2010 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis is an incredible effort that’s made from 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier. Coming from the estate’s top sites and aged 38 months in new oak, it has no problem standing beside the top three single-vineyard releases. Crème de cassis, vanilla bean, smoked meats and licorice all flow to a full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, structured Cote Rotie that needs another 5-6 years of bottle age, but will keep for 2-3 decades.Robert Parker | 99 RPRock-solid, offering dark currant and blackberry paste flavors that race along, thanks to well-embedded graphite and charcoal notes. The finish lets warm fruitcake, plum skin and singed juniper details fill in, with plenty of grip. Mouthwatering acidity and a long echo of sweet tapenade keep this racy and defined. Best from 2015 through 2035. 2,200 cases made, 300 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WSGlass-staining ruby. Potent raspberry, floral pastille and Asian spice scents are complicated by suggestions of mocha, licorice and pipe tobacco. Silky and expansive on the palate, offering sweet red fruit liqueur and cherry-vanilla flavors lifted and sharpened by juicy acidity. Finishes broad, seamless and extremely long, with slow-building tannins adding shape and grip. This expressive wine drinks very well now but has the concentration and structure to age.Vinous Media | 94 VM

99
RP
As low as $189.00
2010 chapoutier hermitage le pavillon Hermitage

Tasting like the concentrated blood from an aged and grilled strip steak, the 2010 Ermitage Le Pavillon boasts a black/purple color along with creme de cassis, camphor, pen ink, white flower and lead pencil shaving characteristics in its massive, full-bodied personality. It almost defies description because of its ethereal concentration and off-the-charts extract levels. This is not for the faint of heart, or those who lack patience, as it will require 10-15 years of bottle age, and, as previously stated, will keep for 50 or more. There are just over 1,000 cases of the 2010 Le Pavillon, another perfect wine in the constellation of profound wines produced by Michel Chapoutier.In November of this year, Michel Chapoutier finally made the cover of The Wine Spectator. The accompanying article said essentially the same things I had written about over twenty years ago. More importantly, I am thrilled that Chapoutier received this attention because it has long been deserved. History will record that Michel Chapoutier is a revolutionary. He is also a highly emotional man whose infectious love of primitive art, historic books, classical music and, of course, terroir and winemaking are seemingly impossible to harness. Michel Chapoutier was among the first in France to embrace the radical biodynamic agricultural teachings, for which he was initially criticized, but is now praised. He was also the first to print all his labels in Braille, something that cynics considered to be a gimmick, but ask the National Association for the Blind what they think. Coming from a famous family, but moving in a direction unlike any of its previous members, Michel Chapoutier is self-taught. What he has accomplished over the last two decades or more is one of the great wine stories of the modern era. With all his outgoing, boisterous, machine-gun-speed prose that can sometimes sound shockingly cocky, and at other times reminiscent of the famous Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran, there is never a dull moment around Chapoutier., who makes comments such as “Filtering wine is like making love with a condom,” and “Acidifying wine is like putting a suit of armor on the vineyard’s terroir, vintage character and the cepage.” Don’t blame him if his brilliant intellect and shocking vocabulary put his visitors on the defensive. Michel Chapoutier has proven through his genius, the faith of his convictions and backbreaking attention to detail in his vineyards and in the winery that a once moribund negociant (yet with significant vineyard holdings) could become a beacon of inspiration and quality for the entire world. In short, every wine consumer in the world should admire his accomplishments. All of Chapoutier’s lower level 2010 whites and basic reds have long been sold out, so to keep the tasting somewhat limited during my visit, we focused on the more recently released 2010 white and red selections parcellaires and nearly all the 2011s. As for the 2010 selection parcellaire whites, they are spectacular. Le Pavillon, once called Rochefine and owned by Jaboulet-Verchere, consists of 10 acres of pure granite in the famed Les Bessards, which is considered by many to be the single greatest terroir of Hermitage. The Ermitage Le Pavillon, which is meant to age for 50+ years, is Michel Chapoutier’s legacy, and he is confident that history will support his belief in this extraordinary wine. Michel Chapoutier is not alone in believing the 2011s may resemble a more modern day version of 1991. That vintage was largely underrated by just about everybody (except yours truly) because all the accolades and hyperbole were largely bestowed on both 1989 and 1990 (deservedly), but in the Northern Rhone 1991 turned out to be a strikingly superb vintage for Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas and Condrieu. In the Southern Rhone, the vintage was largely a disaster. Following is an overview of what to expect with the inexpensive 2011 whites and reds. Most of these wines do not have the weight, power or tannic structure of the 2010s, but they are by no means diluted or wimpish wines. They tend to be charming, fruit-forward and seductive, and thus may be preferred by consumers looking for immediate gratification. Although the first few wines reviewed are Southern Rhones, they need to be covered because they are in bottle, and I did not review them in issue 203. Along with several other producers, Michel Chapoutier has helped increase the world’s attention to the long-forgotten, microscopic appellation of St.-Peray. Chapoutier produces a bevy of St.-Perays under his own name as well as in partnership with two three-star chefs, Sophie Pic, of the Restaurant Pic in Valence (as well as several culinary branches in Paris and Lausanne, Switzerland), and Yannick Alleno, the brilliant chef at the Hotel Le Meurice’s in Paris. The red 2011 selections parcellaires are already fruit-forward and seductive. Readers should love them as they are much more evolved than the more structured, powerful, dense, tannic 2010s.Robert Parker | 100 RP(M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Hermitage, Rhône, France, Red) Sometimes the setting in which you taste a wine helps to fix it in your mind. I tasted this at the Chapel of Saint Christopher on the hill of Hermitage, looking down over the vineyards - a magical spot at the best of times. I was expecting this to be quite closed and introspective, but it's already unfurling, and beginning its first drinking window, quite mature in colour, open and ready for business. It has a beautifully aromatic nose, complex notes of plum, blackberry, glove leather, black olive tapenade and a little hedgerow. Very fresh and alive. Great impact and concentration on the palate, remarkably saline, very intense, but so lively and vivid. Texturally it's velvety, saline, bright and pixelated. Long finish. A hugely complex and dynamic wine, the spirit of Hermitage. (Drink between 2020-2034)Decanter | 99 DECDensely packed, with zesty loganberry, blueberry coulis, plum skin and blackberry paste flavors, presenting a hefty backdrop of ganache and graphite that takes over on the very long finish. A lovely alder note echoes in the background. Best from 2018 through 2028. 43 cases imported. — JMWine Spectator | 97 WSInky purple. Heady, exotically perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, candied flowers, Indian spices and cracked pepper. Stains the palate with intense blackberry and boysenberry flavors, picking up a sweet violet pastille note with aeration. Dense but lively and strikingly precise given its concentration. Shows superb finishing energy and focus, closing with amazing length and slow-building, harmonious tannins. This wine is built for the long haul; I wouldn't touch it for at least another decade.Vinous Media | 96 VM

100
RP
As low as $439.00
2010 michel ogier cote rotie lancement Cote Rotie

Absolutely remarkable is the 100% destemmed 2010 Cote Rotie Lancement Cote Blonde which sees 50% new oak barrels (175-200 cases produced). It offers spectacular aromas of bacon fat, tapenade, cassis, raspberry jam, graphite, subtle smoke and a hint of acacia flowers. Dense, opulent and full-bodied with decent acidity and sweet, velvety tannin, this stunning wine may merit a perfect score when released.Ogier's wines just keep getting better and better, so if you haven't yet jumped on the Ogier bandwagon, it's time to do so. Michel Ogier, and more recently his son, Stephane, are the leading craftsmen in terms of wines from the steep hillsides north of the old Roman town of Vienne. These are still entitled to only a VDP designation, but current vintages are the finest he has yet produced.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPInky ruby. Powerful, expansive aromas of raspberry liqueur, Asian spices, sandalwood and smoky minerals, with an exotic floral nuance that gains power with air. Deeply concentrated but lively, offering palate-staining red fruit and floral pastille flavors and a strong spicy quality. Fine-grained tannins add grip to an incredibly long, sappy and penetrating finish, which clings with remarkable tenacity. One of the great wines of the Rhone from this outstanding vintage.Vinous Media | 97 VMShows stunning depth and richness, with loads of velvety tannins carrying waves of blackberry, fig and dark plum confiture flavors. The long finish cruises throughout, with charcoal, black tea and roasted alder notes all deftly inlaid. An echo of iron lingers. Best from 2017 through 2035. 20 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 97 WS

99
RP
As low as $299.00
2012 horsepower vineyards syrah the tribe vineyard Washington Red

More gamy, bloody and meaty than the Sur Echalas Vineyard Syrah, the 2012 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard is a full-bodied, elegant, concentrated and structured effort that gives up complex notes of savory dark fruits, beef blood, dried herbs, pepper and olives. It’s another incredible Syrah that needs short-term cellaring, but will have two decades of evolution.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPAn aromatic tour de force, this perfumed wine offers hypnotic notes of flowers, green olive, asparagus, sea breeze, mineral, peat, smoke flowers and an earthy funk, showing layers of complexity. The palate’s lithe frame belies the richness of the smoke, fire pit and grilled meat flavors that linger.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WESupple and expressive, with plum and currant flavors and stony overtones combining with hints of black olive and white pepper, adding depth to a distinctive profile on a medium-weight frame that punches above its weight. The deft balance plays against nubby tannins. Drink now through 2025. 463 cases made. Wine Spectator | 95 WS(14.1% alcohol; as with the Echalas Vineyard, the Tribe is cultivated with draft horses): Dark ruby. Aromas of black cherry, liquefied lamb tartare, paprika and black licorice, plus a note of medicinal reserve. Hugely sweet and concentrated but carrying a good bit of unabsorbed CO2 and showing less finesse today than the Cayuse Syrah bottlings from the 2012 vintage. Inky and primary, with strong underlying minerality. This is distinctly Brune while the Echalas Syrah is more Blonde. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins and a slight bitter edge that will require cellaring.Vinous Media | 93+ VM

97
RP
As low as $425.00
2012 cayuse wallah wallah syrah special #4 Washington Red

Made by Christophe as a tribute to Cote Rotie and coming from a blend of estate vineyards, the 2012 Syrah Wallah Wallah #4 Special spent 22 months in older puncheons and neutral smaller barrels before being bottled only in Magnum, of which there’s only 2,500 to go around. Hitting 13.6% natural alcohol, its deep ruby, semi-opaque color is followed by fabulous notes of rose petals, incense, violets, leather and sweet raspberry. These flow seamlessly to a full-bodied, supple and elegant Syrah that has no hard edges, integrated acidity and thrilling purity of fruit. Showing more and more tannin with time in the glass, it needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will have an easy two decades or more of longevity.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RP(13.6% alcohol; a "vineyard blend" bottled entirely in magnums): Healthy deep red. Aromas reminded me of the Côte Brune: raspberry, brown spices, mocha, black tea, every color of pepper. Wonderfully juicy and aromatic in the mouth, hinting at the fleshiness to come but still imploded in the early going. Strong dusty tannins are buffered by a powerful impression of extract, with the finish leaving behind notes of pepper and bacon. Baron compared this wine to the Jamet 2001 Côte-Rôtie and I can relate to that.Vinous Media | 95+ VMA unique blend of several of the winery’s vineyards, this wine brings brooding notes of smoked ham, raw meat, lilac, fire pit and peat, with a thread of minerality that runs throughout. The flavors are full but deft, showing abundant smoked meat and savory notes along with a finish that seems near endless. The balance is perfectly spot-on.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEBright and jazzy, with a distinctively red cast to the color and a flavor profile of raspberry and rose petal. Powdery tannins and stony notes add to the complexity and harmony. Finishes with snap. Drink now through 2022. 257 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

96+
RP
As low as $235.00
2013 cayuse syrah en cerise Washington Red

Brought up in a scant 15% new puncheons, the 2013 Syrah en Cerise is a beautifully layered, elegant, yet focused and concentrated Syrah that really needs 2-3 years of bottle age to strut its stuff. Black cherries, raw steak, violets and pepper all emerge from this full-bodied, balanced, classic Syrah from one the top winemakers in the US.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPBroad and supple, this open-textured version is powerful and expressive without weight. Plum, cherry, tobacco and orange peel flavors float over beautifully modulated tannins into the long, seamless finish. Drink now through 2023. 376 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThe aromas pop with notes of funk, smoked meat, red fruit, flowers, stems and orange peel. It’s compact out of the gate with concentrated, tightly wound, salty flavors of olive brine, crushed rock and violets. It shows an exquisite sense of balance and a crazy long finish.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEHealthy dark red. Musky, Old World scents of bloody steak, minerals, olive tapenade, wild herbs and soy sauce. Densely packed and sweeter in the early going than the En Chambertin, with notes of spices and peat moss that reminded me of a Côte de Nuits wine. Pliant in texture but still quite reserved--and not at all a sweet style. The tannins are a bit youthfully tough and a bit less noble than those of the 2012 version, but this distinctly savory wine is dense and deep. The rocky character of this very stony vineyard really comes through in 2013.Vinous Media | 93+ VM

96
RP
As low as $135.00
2013 horsepower vineyards syrah the tribe vineyard Washington Red

Just ever so slightly richer and more textured than the Sur Echalas Vineyard, the 2013 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard is a blockbuster effort that is up there with the crème de la crème of the vintage. Concentrated, full-bodied, sexy and layered on the palate, it has to-die-for notes of black cherries, currants, olives, steak tartare and Hermitage-like scorched earth characteristics. Like the other 2013s here, it needs 4-5 years of cellaring and will have two decades of longevity.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPThis wine is aromatically brooding but precise, with notes of umami, black olive, smoked ham, crushed violets, funk and peat. The flavors are hefty and concentrated—with notes of fire pit and wet stone—while showing earth-shaking depth and intensity. The finish stretches out as long as you care to count. This is a complete knee buckler.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WESupple, complex, open-textured and refined, with bacon and black olive overtones to the plum and currant flavors, finishing with harmony and precision. Has depth and refinement. Drink now through 2023. 470 cases made.Wine Spectator | 95 WS(from vines planted 3,555 to the acre, next door to Christophe Baron’s En Chamberlin vineyard): Highly nuanced aromas of cherry, raspberry, smoked meat, charcoal and black licorice. Tightly wound and showing little early sweetness; an extremely backward Syrah in a decidedly Côte Brune style, with savory mineral and steak tartare notes holding the upper hand over primary dark fruits in the early going. Finishes with dusty tannins and strong salinity. This wine has a pH of 4.1, according to Baron, but I would nevertheless describe it as very young. Still, will it ever show the sweetness of the 2012 version?Vinous Media | 93 VM

97
RP
As low as $425.00
2014 cayuse wallah wallah syrah special #6 Washington Red

Only released in special vintages, as well as only in magnum, the 2014 Syrah Wallah Wallah Special #6 is about as Northern Rhône as it gets. More rounded, sexy and voluptuous than the other cuvees, with full-bodied richness and silky tannin, it reminds me of the Burgundian style of wine from Jean-Louis Chave. Violets, crushed rocks, graphite, smoked earth and beautiful black fruit notes emerge from this sensual, elegant, ethereally textured beauty. It might be my favorite Special cuvee to date. It’s already beautiful, but it will keep for two decades or more.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPA sleek, seamless red, with vivid raspberry, crushed rock and bacon fat aromas and elegantly layered blueberry and grilled garrigue notes. Drink now through 2024. 418 cases made. Wine Spectator | 94 WS(13.4% alcohol; bottled entirely in magnums): Dark red with ruby highlights. Knockout nose combines black raspberry, blood sausage, Christmas spices and black pepper; smells like a charcuterie shop floor--blood, sawdust and all. Plump and salty in the mouth, with subtle purple fruit and cranberry flavors dominated by more savory earthy, gamey and balsamic qualities. The least fruity of these Syrahs today but this thick midweight avoids heaviness and manages to retain a juiciness--not to mention surprising aromatic persistence--on the firmly tannic back end. Not a fleshy or sweet style but not particularly closed either.Vinous Media | 93 VMThis wine—only released in magnum—comes from a blend of vineyards across the portfolio. The aromas pop, with complex notes of stems, nori, sea salt, green olive, fire pit, tapanade, flowers and mineral. The smoked meat, firepit and stem flavors are intense and savory, drawing out on the finish.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WE

97
RP
As low as $239.00
2015 guigal cote rotie la mouline Cote Rotie

A very complex and complete nose with everything so integrated and beautifully judged. There are ripe blackberries, blood plums, fragrant spices, dark stones and roasted coffee, to name just some of what is already on offer here. The palate has such richness and such build and layering with ripe dark plums and blackberries, clothed in robes of spice-laden, velvety tannins in a majestic mode. Pure class and a great vintage for sure. One of the best ever. Best from 2025.James Suckling | 99 JSThe 2015 Cote Rotie La Mouline contains the most Viognier of any of Guigal’s La Las: 11%. That tends to make it more open and approachable when young, but the 2015 seemed closed at the time of my visit. Cedar and vanilla frame mixed berries in a full-bodied, plush wine that somehow never seems heavy. It shows great elegance and length, and I’m confident the complexity it showed at earlier tastings will reemerge with a few years in the bottle.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPOpaque, bright-rimmed ruby. Expansive, mineral-tinged aromas of ripe red and blue fruits, incense, bacon fat, olive, mocha and pungent flowers are accented by an exotic Moroccan spice nuance. Sappy and deeply concentrated and energetic on the palate, offering vibrant boysenberry, black raspberry, olive paste, smoked meat, five-spice powder and violet pastille flavors that are underscored by a vein of minerality. Supple, gently gripping tannins build steadily a floral- and mineral-driven finish that hangs on with resonating spiciness and superb tenacity.Vinous Media | 98 VMThis is packed with notes of red and black currant preserves, raspberry pâte de fruit and plum reduction at the core. A long way from opening, as the fruit is encased in layers of singed alder, warm earth and smoldering tobacco. A singed iron spine girds the finish. Should offer a gorgeous display of fruit when this develops fully. Best from 2025 through 2045. 88 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 98 WSThe 2015 Côte Rôtie La Mouline has closed down substantially since I tasted it from barrel, yet it’s nevertheless a magical wine in the making. Sporting a deep, saturated purple color as well as a monster bouquet of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, and hints of flowers, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, building tannins, and a focused, tight, backward vibe that’s going to need 4-5 years of bottle age. It’s going to be incredibly long-lived.Jeb Dunnuck | 98+ JDThis has the perfume and aromatic lift you would want from the Côte-Blonde, incense and star anise, intense, fresh and vibrant, combined with plentiful oak spice. The tannins are tight, a little drying, delivering a slightly pinched feel on the palate, but the finish is long, and the tannins are exceptionally fine. Good sense of purity to the fruit. Fermented in stainless steel, 40 months in new French oak barriques. Drinking Window 2025 - 2033Decanter | 95 DEC

99
JS
As low as $499.00
2016 cayuse wallah wallah syrah special #10 Washington Red

Made in magnum, this is the only wine in the portfolio to blend across vineyards. The aromas are arresting, with notes of firepit, funk, green herb, potpourri, chimney and black and green olive. Rich, intense but still lithe savory flavors follow. The intensity and length of the finish is captivating.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WEA blend of vineyards, the 2016 Syrah Wallah Wallah Special #10 is only bottled in magnum format. It has a fresh core of strawberries on the nose, with a dusty minerality and hints of wild sage over soft, smoky and charcuterie aromas. The wine has a focused and balanced core of fruit and florals on the palate, with violets, dried herbs, black pepper and a taut minerality that is thoughtful and elegant, concluding with attentive tannins on the elongated finish. Magnums age well, so this can be forgotten in your cellar with little to no repercussions to the quality of the wine. This bottling is Washington State's smart wine buy of the year. Who doesn't love magnums of fantastic and beautiful wine? Only 460 cases were made. Grab some for your cellar!Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPOnly released in magnum, the 2016 Syrah Wallah Wallah Special #10 is always a mysterious blend of multiple vineyards. It has beautiful complexity in its ripe black cherry and cassis fruits, iodine, tobacco, ashtray, and earthy/peat moss-like aromas and flavors. This gives way to a full-bodied, concentrated Syrah that has bright acidity, loads of fruit, and a focused, juicy style that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring.Jeb Dunnuck | 95-97 JDA blend of vineyards that changes each year, this has a sense of elegance with a distinctly spicy and quite floral edge (there is some viognier) and a lithe, juicy and very drinkable feel. This is more immediate, a wine to celebrate with and only bottled in magnum. Drink or hold.James Suckling | 94 JSBright dark red. Lovely Côte-Rôtie-like aromas of black raspberry, violet and bacon fat. Dense and savory, with strong raspberry fruit lifted by a minty nuance in the mid-palate. Piquant mace and nutmeg notes contribute energy and a black pepper component lifts the finish. Quite firm but utterly edge-free, this youthfully bound-up wine finishes saline and long, with an emerging note of black licorice. Not currently as complex as some of the other 2026 Syrahs at this address, this wine calls for patience. (13.5% alcohol; bottled in magnums; according to Elizabeth Bourcier, this wine is from "a secret blend of vineyards)".Vinous Media | 93 VMSvelte and luscious, with effortlessly complex raspberry and blueberry flavors accented by garrigue, smoky beef and cracked pepper notes. The finish is long and elegant, with refined tannins.Wine Spectator | 93 WS

95-97+
JD
As low as $239.00
2016 fattoria le pupille syrah le pupille Italy Red

Fabulous complexity on the nose with crushed blackberries, chocolate, walnuts and tar. Lots of dried flowers. Full body. Layered and creamy with superb tannin texture and length. Hints of stone. Half made in amphora and half in casks. Aged one year in old casks. Drink or hold. 3,500 bottles made.James Suckling | 96 JSThe 2016 Syrah is a dense, potent wine. Wild cherry, game, dried herbs, menthol, licorice and coffee are front and center. This is an especially rich style. Then, again we are in Maremma. The 2016 is a bit wild, but in the best sense of the term. It will offer its finest drinking alongside similarly hearty cuisine. It was fermented in a mix of terracotta and cocciopesto, then moved into oak for 2-3 months before going into bottle, where it spent more than two years before being released.Vinous Media | 95 VMI reviewed this wine last year but welcomed the opportunity to taste it again one year later. My score has not changed, but I have extended the drinking window by a few years. The Fattoria le Pupille 2016 Le Pupille is an ambitious expression of amphorae-fermented Syrah. It presents cherry and dark plum, with earthy tones followed by tarry spice and campfire smoke. The meaty intensity normally associated with the Syrah grape is replaced here by plump and rich dark fruit. Give the wine a little extra time in your cellar to evolve and unwind.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPOne of the newest projects at Fattoria Le Pupille is this Syrah (first vintage, 2015), a terracotta-and-tonneaux wine from Vigna del Palo and Pian di Fiora, using barrels previously used for Poggio Valente. Vinified in a combination of amphorae (known locally as ‘orci’) and tonneaux, the wine sits on its skins for an extended period of around five months, before ageing in 300l French oak tonneaux and a further 18 months in bottle. Gamey and leathery aromas are accompanied by herbal and floral fragrance. In the mouth it’s sapid, tight and meaty, with a sweet black fruit core surrounded by flecks of blue fruit, violet overtones and a touch of spice. It finishes long and savoury, with vibrant acidity. 4,600 bottles produced.Decanter | 93 DEC

96
JS
As low as $84.95
2016 guigal cote rotie la mouline Cote Rotie

Probably one of my favorite wines in the world is the La Mouline Côte Rôtie from the Guigal family. Coming from old vines and a warmer, steep, terraced parcel not far from the estate, it also includes a big chunk of Viognier and spent 4 years in new French oak. The 2016 Côte Rôtie La Mouline shows the more classic, elegant style of the vintage perfectly, offering a kaleidoscope feel in its classic jammy black raspberry fruits and notes of spice box, acacia flowers, bacon fat, and smoked game-like aromas and flavors. Possessing incredible elegance, full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and a layered, multi-dimensional texture, this heavenly Syrah can be enjoyed any time over the coming 25-30 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDDeep, glistening violet color. Highly perfumed aromas of fresh black/blue fruits, exotic spices, peony, vanilla and incense are complemented by a smoky mineral nuance. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, displaying alluringly sweet, mineral-tinged blueberry, cherry preserve and floral pastille flavors along with hints of licorice and cola. The floral and spice notes repeat emphatically on an extremely long, penetrating finish that features mounting tannins and a resonating mineral flourish.Vinous Media | 98 VM(E Guigal, La Mouline, Syrah / Shiraz, Côte-Rôtie, Rhône, France, Red) Here the blackberry fruit is more to the fore compared to La Mouline 2017, the higher-toned aromatics and cedar notes are more in the background. This has a fluid, harmonious, light-touch - very well balanced. Perhaps not as concentrated as the 2017, but I love its easy balance. Particularly elegant and approachable with a little dark chocolate note to the cedar and floral display. (Drink between 2021-2040)Decanter | 97 DECLike the La Turque, the 2016 Cote Rotie La Mouline is about as approachable a young La La as you’re likely to find. Floral notes include hints of violet and hibiscus set against a backdrop of blackberries and cassis. Medium to full-bodied, it’s richly concentrated and textured, leaving behind a velvety, tannic feel on the long finish, accompanied by hints of cedary spice, mocha and salted licorice. It’s another beauty that should drink well for at least two decades.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPSuave in feel, this lovely, beguiling wine offers perfumed black tea and incense notes swirling around a core of steeped cherry and plum fruit, all inlaid with notes of anise and juniper. The finish knits everything together nicely, with a mouthwatering mineral hint echoing. Best from 2022 through 2038. 125 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WS

98
VM
As low as $499.00
2016 guigal cote rotie la turque Cote Rotie

(E Guigal, La Turque, Syrah / Shiraz, Côte-Rôtie, Rhône, France, Red) Lighter and more perfumed than the 2017 La Turque, more aerial in aroma, violets. I love the smoothness of the tannins, the silkiness on the palate. Again, the balance feels very natural and easy as it does with the other 2016 La-Las, with a harmonious, shapely, tapered finish. Extremely elegant expression of Côte-Rôtie, with perfect balance of tannin, acidity and alcohol. (Drink between 2023-2040)Decanter | 98 DECLoaded with exotic perfumes of spring flowers and ripe berries, the 2016 Cote Rotie La Turque looks more like the wine I first tasted back in 2017. Medium to full-bodied, it’s exquisitely silky and elegant from start to incredibly long finish; while there is ample concentration and a fine, lacy framework of tannins to support the fruit, the tannins virtually melt away into the background, leaving behind lingering notes of salted licorice and mocha. Approachable now, it should drink well for at least two decades.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98 RPInky magenta. Candied cherry, blackcurrant, exotic spices, violet oil and a hint of olive on the powerfully scented nose. Velvety, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining, mineral-laced black/blue fruit preserve, floral pastille, smoky bacon and spicecake flavors that open up steadily on the back half. Displays sharp delineation and a resonating floral note on a strikingly long finish that’s framed by plush, rounded tannins.Vinous Media | 97 VMShowing beautifully, the 2016 Côte Rôtie La Turque comes from the Côte Brune (along with the La Landonne) and includes a solid chunk of co-fermented Viognier. As with all the top La Las, it spends a full four years in new French oak and is bottled with no finning or filtration. Resembling the La Landonne with its smoky, meaty style, this deep purple-hued effort is medium to full-bodied and has complex notes of black raspberry, cassis, roast coffee, camphor, and flowers, silky tannins, and a great finish. It shows the more elegant style of the vintage yet is still concentrated, with fabulous tannins and impeccable balance. It’s a beautiful, classic example of this cuvée to enjoy over the coming 20-25 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDDark and winey, with waves of cassis, steeped plum and warmed cherry preserves rolling through, all laced with dried anise, black tea and mesquite notes. The long finish picks up a savory edge and a well-buried iron note. For the cellar. Best from 2023 through 2040. 125 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

98
RP
As low as $499.00

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