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Posts Tagged ‘Collines Rhodaniennes’

Rhone wines for all occasions

Just when I felt settled in our new house we moved over the remainder of our storage unit.  This final lot of our stuff included significant number of boxes of books…heavy boxes of books.  After a day of heavy lifting I am more inclined to drink an inexpensive wine.  Both the 2013 Domaine Saint Gayan, Trescartes, Cotes du Rhone and the 2013 Domaine Ogier, Le Temps Est Venu, Cotes du Rhone fit this criteria.  The Saint Gayan is a softer wine for immediate consumption whereas the Ogier might have a soft presence but it sports meaty complexity.  The 2012 Jean-Michel Gerin, La Champine, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes is ideal for the day after hauling boxes.  This northern-Rhone Syrah offers ethereal bloody and earthy flavors that will remain attractive for many years.  While drinking these three forward wines you could let the 2012 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallieres, Les Mourres, Gigondas age.  This is a bright, clean Gigondas with an attractive racy core of flavor.  The southern warmth has made the 2012 Domaine Bois De Boursan, Chateauneuf du Pape a wine to enjoy now.  At first, I even wondered about the need to cellar this wine but with air additional complexity comes out including the sense of structure.  This then, might be a wine for all ages. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Domaine Saint Gayan, Trescartes, Cotes du Rhone – $12
Imported by Europvin.  This wine is a blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre sourced from 50 year old vines that was aged in cement vats.  Alcohol 14%.  The flavors quickly become soft with the faintest hint of structure and dry, cola-like flavors in the middle that were moved along by watering acidity.  There were cinnamon notes in the finish and some tannins left on the gums.  ** Now-2017.

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2013 Domaine Ogier, Le Temps Est Venu, Cotes du Rhone – $16
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This wine is a blend of 90% old vine Grenache and 10% Syrah and Mourvedre that was fermented and aged in concrete vats.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose bore red fruit and berries.  In the mouth were meaty hints of flavor in a soft structure that came out with air.  There were orange-cream flavors mixed with minerals, and a drying black structure by the finish.  **(*) Now-2018.

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2012 Jean-Michel Gerin, La Champine, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes – $19
Imported by Esprit du Vin.  This wine is 100% Syrah that was aged for 12 months in old oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The subtle nose bore some pepper.  In the mouth were some bloody, ethereal and earthy flavors that mixed with more substantive fruity and tart black notes.  Already showing good, complex flavors, this wine will develop over the short-term.    The flavors showed mid palate bloom with ethereal structure and watering acidity.  *** Now-2022.

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2012 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallieres, Les Mourres, Gigondas – $20
Imported by Exclusive Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose bore fresh citrus and perfume.  In the mouth were weighty, ripe, black fruit with a racy core and acidity.  The wine leaned towards the dry and tart side of the spectrum.  The flavors taste like young fruit in this young, clean, bright Gigondas.  With extended air it developed some creamy, blue fruit.  **(*) 2017- 2025.

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2012 Domaine Bois De Boursan, Chateauneuf du Pape – $40
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, and 5% other including Counoise, Cinsault that was aged for 18 months in large barrels.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose bore red fruit and aromatic spices.  In the mouth was a slightly dense start of cool and spiced, dry flavors of red fruit and cherry.  The wine took on more blue and black fruit in the finish which had a dry, cinnamon flavored structure and a fresh, grippy end.  With air midpalate complexity came out as did minerality and watering acidity.  ***(*) Now-2025.

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Recent Rhones from North and South

March 31, 2015 1 comment

Just a quick post for today but I promise a meatier post tomorrow based on some fun research.  Of the trio of wines in this post I suggest you try both the 2013 Lionel Faury, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes and the 2012 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone.  The former has lovely Syrah flavors which complement notes of orange, black tea, and baking spices.  This should be great come the fall.  The Charvin is packed with potential with its firm fruit, minerals, and savory finish.  It is enjoyable now but really needs to be cellared for a few years.  It will be worth it.  The Faury and Charvin were purchased at MacArthur Beverages and the Notre dame at McGruders of DC.

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2013 Lionel Faury, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes – $22
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vines planted between 1995 and 2007 on granite soils. The wine is aged 7-8 months in 7-20 year old demi-muids.  Alcohol 13%.  There was an attractive sweet nose of ripe, floral orange fruit.  In the mouth there was enough acidity that the wine was lively on the tongue tip.  The red and orange fruit mixed with tea flavors, some baking spices, and a bit of texture.  It is in a youthful, rough and tumble state.  *** Now-2022.

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2012 Domaine Charvin, Le Poutet, Cotes du Rhone – $19
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Carignan raised in concrete.  Alcohol 14%.  This sported pure, grapey flavors of black fruit, a minerally middle, and a savory finish.  This is clearly not a fruit forward wine and lovely for it.  There were drying tannins and a tight personality indicating this should develop over the next several years.  With air it showed some orange fruit and a touch of density.  *** 2017-2025+.

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2013 Notre Dame De Cousignac, Lirac – $16
Imported by Opici Wines.  This wine is a blend of 77% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 8% Cinsault, and 5% Mourvedre source from vines averaging 35 years of age.  It was fermented in stainless steel then aged in cement. Alcohol 14.5%.  There were dark flavors of blue and red fruit, some ripeness, and an immediate sense of structure.  The tannins are ripe and bring on cinnamon spices on the backs of the gums.  With air the wine develops a higher-tone with a licorice flavor and drying structure in the end.  Needs time.  ** 2017-2025.

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A Pair of IGP Collines Rhodaniennes from 2012

October 13, 2014 Leave a comment

I think of the wines of Collines Rhodaniennes as affordable examples of Northern Rhone Syrah.  I have been drinking two staples of this designation for a few years now, notably the Domaine Michel Ogier, La Rosine, Syrah and the Domaine Faury, Syrah.  One reason for the affordability of these wines is the allowance for higher yields in the vineyard.  The balance between yield and price can hit a sweet spot to provide both aromatic and youthful, grapey wines.  With the pair of wines featured in today’s post, I have now been able to taste three new wines including the previously described 2012 Jamet, Syrah.  The 2012 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes is on the refreshing side of wines.  Though it has a citric hint it still shows the meat and smoke that makes Northern Rhone Syrah so attractive.  The 2012 Jean-Michel Gerin, La Champine, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes clearly revealed more depth.  What I could not capture in my tasting note was the unique floral-infused flavor.   Rather than rely on my tasting notes you should just accept my recommendation to try these wines.  IGP Collines Rhodaniennes deserves to be amongst your rotation of the more southern Cotes du Rhones wines.  The Durand was purchased at Pike & Western Wine Shop and the Gerin at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes – $15
Imported by Cavatappi Distribuzione.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vineyards very close to the south of St. Joseph that was fermented then aged in stainless steel.  Alcohol 13%.  There were young, grapey black fruit flavors in the mouth.  The black tartness was refreshing and matched an orange or lime hint.  This clean wine was gently expansive with good young fruit, some weight, and a little smoky meat.  It opened up well with air.  ** Now-2017.

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2012 Jean-Michel Gerin, La Champine, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes – $19
Imported by Esprit du Vin.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from both young and 20+ year old vines on soils of mica-schist and granite.  It was aged for 12 months in 60% barrqiues and 40% stainless steel.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The young, grapey nose revealed more depth.  In the mouth was a tart tingle on the tongue-tip, followed by a black middle with ripe hints in the finish.  There was an interesting floral component followed by an expansive, inky aftertaste.  *** Now-2019.

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A Trio From the Rhone

May 28, 2014 1 comment

Some of my latest research involves a wine produced over the last century.  This research is somewhat maddening for my massive effort has yielded a very low rate of return.  Still I have come up with a few rather interesting threads of information.  I have also expanded my correspondence which, of course, progresses at its own pace.  You might realize at this point that more research results in less posts.  With that in mind I jump straight to three lovely red wines.  The 2009 Chateau des Tours, Reserve, Cotes du Rhone is intense, unique, and best left in the cellar.  If you have not drunk Rayas then drink des Tours.   The 2012 Jamet, Syrah, Collines Rhodaniennes is downright drinkable.  Its a complex wine from young fruit a chunk of which came from Cote-Rotie and Condrieu.  Yes, Condrieu, there are red grapes grown there.  Finally, the 2012 Saint Cosme, Crozes-Hermitage is accessible now but took until the end of the second night to show its true complexity.  Its best to let the oak integrate some more so leave in the cellar.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2009 Chateau des Tours, Reserve, Cotes du Rhone – $35
Imported by MacArthur Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Cinsault.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was rich with ripe, Kirsch aromas.  In the mouth were weighty, pure ripe flavors.  The acidity is present but the fruit dominates right now.  This complex wine has texture which turns powdery and reveals some structure.  It is through force of will that this wine will age.  It is full-bodied with a raspberry middle.  ***(*) 2019-2029.

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2012 Jamet, Syrah, Collines Rhodaniennes – $22
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This wine is 100% Syrah mostly sourced from vines planted between 1993-1998 next to the cellar, some from young Cote-Rotie, along with 25% from Condrieu.  The fruit was destemmed and aged for 8-9 months in old casks.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was engaging with aromas of clove spiced oranges and red fruit.  There were similar flavors in the mouth with some tang.  The flavors taste of young fruit.  They are fresh, pure, and sport good depth and satisfying red fruit flavor.  There was a little prickle and acidity on the tongue tip.  The flavors were blacker with graphite hints in the finish.  The wine becomes more mineral and tart with air.  *** Now-2016.

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2012 Saint Cosme, Crozes-Hermitage – $29
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is 100% Syrah which was whole cluster fermented then aged in 12-15 months in a mixture of new and used oak casks.Alcohol 13%.  At first the nose reveals black fruit mixed with some smoke and perhaps vanilla then with extended air hints of complexity come out.  In the mouth were cool black fruit flavors that were clean and accessible.  The flavors pick up hints of sweetness.  The acidity and integrated tannins are not noticeable until the finish where there is texture on the gums.  Subtle notes of minerals and tank come out in the aftertaste.  Cellar further.  ***(*) 2016-2024.

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2012 Northern Rhone Syrah from Faury and Clape

December 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Just over one year ago I tasted the 2011 Northern Rhone Syrah from Clape and Faury together.  With the 2012 vintages of these two wines freshly available I decided to try them out over the weekend.  I double-decanted both of the wines then immediately tasted them.  While they maintained similar personalities, this new vintage is more concentrated and less floral.  The 2012 Domaine Faury, Syrah leaned towards the tighter and leaner side of things with the 2012 Domaine A. Clape, Le Vin des Amis almost evocative of raisins.  But over the first hour and through the rest of the evening the wines noticeably changed.  The Faury took on density and the Clape became delineated.  The Faury tastes as if it were from younger vines and it is.  The vines were planted between 1995 and 2007 on granite soils near St. Joseph whereas the Clape is sourced from 40 year old vines on round river stones.  Both are good wines but there is more going on in the Clape.  It is produced in the same manner as his Cornas so keep that in mind when you weigh the price differences.  Give them both a try! These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Domaine Faury, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes – $20
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vines planted between 1995 and 2007 on granite soils. The wine is aged 7-8 months in 7-20 year old demi-muids. Alcohol 13%.  The nose was smoky with grapey, concentrated aromas.  In the mouth were dense, grapey flavors which were weighty and of young fruit taste.  The wine expanded rapidly with air, taking on density and lipstick notes in the finish supported by acidity.  On the second day youthful black fruit touched the sides of the tongue which was followed by an almost saline, expansive middle.  *** Now-2022.

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2012 Domaine A. Clape, Le Vin des Amis – $30
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vines on soils of round river stones. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts in cement tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation and aging for 6 months in cement cuves and 6 months in foudres. Alcohol 13%.  The nose was meaty with macerated berries.  The wine was initially dark and rich but it opened up after an hour with enveloping darkness and black fruit flavors almost bordering on raisins.  This distinctive wine was expansive with a long aftertaste where the structure came out.  On the second night there were expansive flavors, minerals, and a tart note.  It developed some grip before the ethereal flavors and fine, textured structure.  ***(*) 2014-2024.

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A Pair of 2003 Northern Rhone Wines

One year ago we tried a bottle of 2003 Domaine Michel Ogier, La Rosine and found that bottle to be cracking up. Since then a few others have enjoyed this wine so I decided to give it another go.  This time we paired it with the 2003 Jean Luc Colombo, Les Ruchets which was on the dump stack.  This second bottle of La Rosine showed so much better with attractive smoke, earth, and roast on the nose followed by meat and wood box in the mouth.  It projected personality.  The Les Ruchets saw a higher percentage of new oak for a longer period of time.  Despite using fruit from vines planted in the 1920s I perceived less personality from the flavors and more from the structure of the wine.  I suspect it will live for quite some time but I think it best drunk over the near term.  While I was glad to have paid the discounted dump-bin price rather than twice as much I recommend you stick with the La Rosine.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2003 Domaine Michel Ogier, La Rosine, Vdp Collines Rhodaniennes – $20
Imported by Robert Kacher.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vines planted in 1988 and the later 1990s.  The wine receives 14 months with 10% new oak and 90% in 2-year-old barrels which raised Cote-Rotie.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose was light to medium with smoke, earth, and roast.  In the mouth there was tart red fruit to start along with black acidity on the tongue.  There was a gentle weight with slightly flavors of meat and wood box in the finish.  The fruit was quite clean with light black and red fruits mixing with minerals.  The acidity was clean as well.  *** Now-2018.

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2003 Jean Luc Colombo, Les Ruchets, Cornas – $20
Imported by Palm Bay Imports.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 90+ year old vines from the 1.6 hectare Chaillot parcel.  The fruit was destemmed, fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in 70% new oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a light, meaty nose with the slightest hint of fresh pepper.  The mouth brought black and red fruit, pepper, acidity, and fine ripe tannins.  The flavors turned drier in the finish which was textured rather than flavorful.  With air acidity enlivened red fruit came out midpalate along with more roundness and balance.  ** Now – 2018.

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2011 Northern Rhone Syrah from Clape and Faury

November 20, 2012 1 comment

It was great fun to taste these two “table wines” from the great producers Domaine A. Clape and Domaine Faury.  Both of these wines are imported by Kermit Lynch.  The Clape, Le Vin des Amis drank incredibly well right out of the bottle.  With both a beautiful nose and mouth I would not hesitate to drink this right now.  The Faury, Syrah took until the second night to develop the nose and flavors.  While it will require cellaring to reach its full potential, I believe it will not quite reach the heights of the Clape, Le Vin des Amis.  The Clape, Le Vin des Amis is more forward and giving but maintains a density of flavors perhaps due to the significantly older vines.  The Faury, Syrah is firmer and smokey but without the same depth.  They are both good wines but I would spend the extra $ for the Clape, Le Vin des Amis.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2011 Domaine A. Clape, Le Vin des Amis – $30
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 40-year-old vines on soils of round river stones.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts in cement tanks then underwent malolactic fermentation and aging for 6 months in cement cuves and 6 months in foudres.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The color is a medium purple ruby.  The light+ nose is aromatic with fruit and potpourri, while subdued on the second night it was more lifted.  The mouth follows the nose with floral fruit and potpourri which initially expands in the mouth.  Minerally black fruit comes out leaving fine, ripe powdery texture on the tongue and lips.  There are very fine, spiced tannins which show good balance and integration with the acidity.  On the second night, a subtle tannic structure came out.  *** Now-2017.

2011 Domaine Faury, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes – $20
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vines planted between 1995 and 2007 on granite soils.  The wine is aged 7-8 months in 7-20 year old demi-muids.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was medium purple ruby.  The light to medium strength nose revealed sweet, floral fruit.  The flavors start off a touch tart in the mouth the fruit then become lighter towards the middle then tangy in the finish.  There are smokey notes in the mouth along with firmer, floral black fruit. It takes on a little lipstick quality in the aftertaste.  This smelled and tasted better on the second night but the flavors seemed more fleeting.  **(*) 2015-2019.

Another Vintage, the 2003 Ogier, La Rosine

February 3, 2012 1 comment

Last month we tried the 1999 Michel Ogier, La Rosine and found it to be quite enjoyable.  Curious to try another vintage I pulled the cork on the 2003 just a few weeks later.  While the nose was enjoyable the flavors were not so much, in fact we did not finish the bottle.  To be doubly sure we opened another bottle of the 1999 and concluded that it was much better.  If you have the 2003 in your cellar than drink it up.  Otherwise search for the 1999 over the 2003 of La Rosine.

2003 Domaine Michel Ogier, La Rosine, VdP des Collines Rhodaniennes
Imported by Robert Kacher.  There was a light nose of cedar and soft, maturing red fruit.  In the mouth the tart red fruit was lively with acidity, just a hint of ripeness, and spice.  The nose was enjoyable but with a small amount of air the initial mouth flavors were almost cracking up and become unbalanced.  Drink now.

The Mature 1999 Michel Ogier, La Rosine

January 6, 2012 2 comments

This selection recently popped up at MacArthurs.  Unable to remember if I had drunk it before I happily grabbed a bottle.  I find that I sometimes forget which vintages of a particular wine I have drunk so I am only just starting to search my own site!  In this case had I searched for my tasting note from June 2008 I might have scared myself off from buying this wine.  Good thing I did not!  This winter I plan to start publishing my notes from my university days in the mid-1990s and from our wine-club days of 2005-2007.  For those who receive email, Twitter, or Facebook updates you are notified about all published posts.  For those who visit this site, all posts are arranged chronologically.  While an old note from 2008 will not show up on the main page of this site, it is readily found in the Archives or you may find them through the Old Tasting Notes tag.

Old Tasting Notes

The wines from Collines Rhodaniennes are typically produced from young vines in Cote-Rotie, syrah from outside the Appellation, and a vineyard in Seyssuel.  Yields may acheive 85 hl/ha with a minimum alcohol of 10.5% ABV.  La Rosine has been produced by the Ogiers since the early 1990s.  The fruit is sourced from Semons which is located at the southern end of the appellation.  Located in the commune of Tupin near Condrieu, the vineyards of Semons contain soils of granite with smooth galets.   This 5 hectare vineyard was planted between 1988 and the later 1990s.  The wine receives 14 months with 10% new oak and 90% in 2-year-old barrels which raised Cote-Rotie.  I am indebted to the ever-informative “The Wines of the Northern Rhone” by John Livingstone-Learmonth for providing this information.

This bottle was certainly better than what I drank before.  This wine is mature with its strengths being the engaging nose, initial flavors, and aftertaste.  It was a bit thin in the middle but this must be weighed against the strengths.  It was a pleasure to drink a mature bottle and recommend that you try it as well.

1999 Domaine Michel Ogier, La Rosine, VdP des Collines Rhodaniennes
There is an interesting, medium-strength nose of textured red and blue fruit that is engaging with its mature aromas and notes of cedar.  In the mouth the flavors are of tarter red fruit, initially medium bodied with a bit of a prickle.  There is a bit of grip and texture on the tongue before the flavors become lean midpalate.  There was slightly ripe fruit in the finish and fine+ tannins in the aftertaste.  The interest returns in the aftertaste as it is a bit gravelly with dark notes of tobacco.  The flavors started to fade after a few hours.

Syrahs From Washington and France

I picked these two Syrah wines because they are both wonderful wines yet completely different.  I special ordered the Syncline Wine Cellars bottle from City Cellars in Seattle for $30.   The Domaine Faury is currently available at MacArthur’s for $18.   While I recommend both of these wines I am most excited about the Domaine Faury.  It is lovely to drink, tastes like a Northern Rhone Syrah, and at $18 it may be a daily or weekly drinker.  If you have access to both of these you should cellar the Syncline while you drink the Faury.  For those with good memory Lou, Jenn, and I previously tasted the 2009 Domaine Faury, St-Joseph Blanc and I concluded that it was a wine worth seeking out.  Domaine Faury is imported by Kermit Lynch so there should be good availability.

2009 Syncline Wine Cellars, Syrah, McKinley Springs Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills
This wine is 100% Syrah from vines planted in 2000 at the McKinley Springs Vineyard.  Note, previous vintages were cofermented with 2% Viognier so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is 98% Syrah.  The vineyard lies at 335 meters of altitude on sandy silt loam soils.  These grapes are harvested during mid-October.  The wine was aged for 16 months in neutral French oak. It was fined with egg whites from Syncline’s own organic eggs.  There were 230 cases produced.  The bottle is sealed with a glass stopped.

On the second day there was a light nose of sweet, blue-cream aromas with a little “sharpness” detected by Jenn.  In the mouth the crisp, blue fruits mixed with controlled creaminess that disappeared abruptly mid-palate.  There were blue fruits, minerals, and some ink in the aftertaste.  This wine has good, enjoyable flavors, with an effortless delivery of flavor but there are some rough edges, such as a hint of alcohol.  Though the tannins are light this wine needs a few more years to come together. 

2010 Domaine Faury, Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes
This wine is 100% Syrah from vines located on le plateau rhodanien.  IGP Collines Rhodaniennes is a region that surrounds Cote-Rotie, Saint Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage,  Hermitage, and Cornas. In an email from Lionel Faury he explains that the vineyards for this wine are grown on top of hillsides, with deeper soils, and not the best sun exposure.  These vines were planted between 1995 and 2007 on granite soils.  He is allowed to produce 65hl/ha instead of the 40 hl/ha for St-Joseph so this enables the lower price for the wine. The wine was aged for 7-8 months in 7-20 year old demi-muids.   To “preserve the  freshness and the Syrah aromas” he used a short 10 day maceration time, lower fermentation temperature, and aging in the old demi-muids.

Right out of the bottle there are waves of youthful, Syrah grape aromas mixed with notes of pepper.  In the mouth there are pure flavors of fresh, dark grapes supported by juicy acidity, tart berries, and hints of sweet, powdery spice.  This wine has stuffing!  With air the grapey flavor continues to jump into your mouth and are eventually joined by notes of butter.  This is a lovely drink right now.