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Posts Tagged ‘Crozes-Hermitage’

A Crozes with Stuffing

November 2, 2019 Leave a comment

The 2017 Emmanuel Darnaud, Mise en Bouche, Crozes-Hermitage is Crozes with a substantial amount of fruit.  It provides plenty of pleasure right now yet it also has enough supporting components to develop for a few years.  In fact, I recommend you give it at least half a year for further integration.  It is the sort of wine which makes me curious to try more Crozes-Hermitage.

2017 Emmanuel Darnaud, Mise en Bouche, Crozes-Hermitage – $22 at MacArthur Beverages
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is 100% Syrah fermented in concrete vats then aged in 1/3 new oak barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  Very grapey with black fruit, baking spices and watering acidity.  A good show from the start with medium-dense flavors, some toast, and fat in the finish.  ***(*) Now – 2024.

Young Syrah for Cold Weather – Darnaud and Durand

January 13, 2019 Leave a comment

The 2016 Emmanuel Darnaud, Les trois chenes, Crozes-Hermitage and 2016 Domaine Durand, Les Coteaux, Saint-Joseph  are two wines you might consider drinking for lunch on a snowy day such as we are having in Washington, D.C.  They are lower in alcohol with fresh flavors suitable for midday.  The Darnaud is a new wine for me.  It is the grapier of the two, juicy, with an ethereal finish.  Its quite good for a Crozes-Hermitage.  The Durand is darker in fruit flavor, sports more structure, and actually requires air to open up.  Both are wines to be drunk over the next five years or so.  The Darnaud is silky and the Durand is taut which make for an interesting contrast.  You may find them at MacArthur Beverages.

2016 Emmanuel Darnaud, Les trois chenes, Crozes-Hermitage – $25
Imported by Fruit of the Vines. This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 25-60 year old vines on glacial, pebbly soils raised in cement tanks and demi-muids. Alcohol 12%. A nose of grapey scents and smoke. Dense and grapey in the mouth, a modest structure and silky body lead to an ethereal ripe finish. Flavors of black fruit, juicy acidity, and grapiness are about youth. There is a mineral bit and slightly savory finish. Clean. ***(*) Now – 2025.

2016 Domaine Durand, Les Coteaux, Saint-Joseph – $25
Imported by Fruit of the Vines. This wine is 100% Syrah. Alcohol 13.5%. Fresh with sweet black fruit and some vanilla on the nose. Taut black fruit with minerals exist before the focused, sweet, and ripe middle. Rounded with fine tannins and good spiced flavors in the finish. It needs time to open up in the glass but will not be long-lived. ***(*) Now – 2026.

A most impressive Crozes-Hermitage, 2015 Jaboulet Thalabert

May 15, 2018 1 comment

The 2015 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine, Domaine de Thalabert, Crozes-Hermitage  raises the bar for serious, age-worthy Crozes-Hermitage.  While it is full-bodied, smooth, and inky, it is also balanced, savory, and long in flavor.  It is quite drinkable now but I would wait a few years for it to open up and improve.  It is still available by the magnum at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine, Domaine de Thalabert, Crozes-Hermitage – $35
Alcohol 13.5%.  Full-bodied, smooth, inky, and savory are what first come to mind when tasting this perfectly balanced Crozes.  One of the most substantive I have yet to taste from this appellation, there are ripe flavors of blue and black fruit, salivating acidity, and some supportive oak tannins.  It wraps up with a long spiced aftertaste. The grapey notes speak to the appellation and primary state of the wine.  It will slowly develop for many years.   **** Now – 2035.

A good Crozes-Hermitage from Les 4 Vents

January 31, 2018 1 comment

Lucie Fourrel’s first vintage was in 2010 after working at Clusel-Roch and Vincent Paris.  When her sister Nancy Cellier joined, the new venture was named Domaine Les 4 Vents.  Today the sisters farm some 10 ha in Crozes-Hermitage.  I was surprised by the 2015 Domaine Les 4 Vents, Les Pitchounettes Rouge, Crozes-Hermitage.  No doubt this wine is from a ripe vintage but the pure fruit and floral flavors of the Northern Rhone are not lost.  What you gain is a savory, slightly salty, wine that fills the mouth and continues to expand in the aftertaste.  I find that rather impressive for a Crozes-Hermitage.  I recommend you grab a few bottles from MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Domaine Les 4 Vents, Les Pitchounettes Rouge, Crozes-Hermitage – $22
Imported by Wine Traditions LTD.  Alcohol 13%.  The flavors start off with focused grapey, purple fruit with a slightly floral touch.  The fruit is pure, backed by some extract, and almost crunchy acidity that becomes more watering by the end.  This is a savory wine revealing good weighty flavors over moderate structure.  With air it becomes more floral and certainly more expansive with ripe, floral flavors in the mouth filling aftertaste.  *** Now – 2021.

The grapey 2015 J.L. Chave Selections, Silene, Crozes-Hermitage

September 26, 2017 Leave a comment

The 2015 J.L. Chave Selections, Silene, Crozes-Hermitage features young fruit from the estate as well as purchased.  It is full of grapey aromas and flavors to good effect.  It will even remind you of the granite soils.  You can pick it up at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 J.L. Chave Selections, Silene, Crozes-Hermitage – $26
Imported by Erin Cannon Imports.  This wine is 100% Syrah from hillside parcels on granite with 50% sourced from a young parcel planted in 2003.  Alcohol 14%. Good, grapey aromas are on the nose. In the mouth are grapey flavors, as if from young vines, and citric pithe texture. Almost juicy acidity and a modest dry structure. Dry mineral streak. Grapey depth.  *** Now – 2020.

Lou guesses Italian, I guess Bordeaux

I went over to Lou’s house a few weeks ago.  We each brown bagged a few wines for each other to guess.  We only skirted with brilliance, informally I would say we are closer in guessing vintages than the regions the wine came from.  I brought the Rhone trio because negociants were still in their heydey at the end of the 1970s.  This clearly evident in the basic 1979 Paul Jaboulet-Aine, Crozes-Hermitage which is in absolutely fine shape today.  My brother-in-law’s guess that the bottle contained mature Cotes du Rhone is on the mark.  From an excellent vintage the 1978 Paul Jaboulet Aine, La Grand Pompee, Saint-Joseph is deeply aromatic and powerful.  Today it is very bloody on the nose and simpler in the mouth but I suspect it was a brute in youth.  It fell apart before the Crozes.  In case we needed confirmation that the Jaboulet Aine Crozes is a good wine I opened the miserable bottle of 1979 Cave des Clairmonts, Crozes-Hermitage.

I guessed Washington state for the 1996 Ridge, Grenache ATP, Lytton Estate, Dry Creek Valley.  Clearly an excellent wine, it remains attractively aromatic yet continues to expand in flavor for hours.  After a few hours of air it becomes racy and texture.  I suspect this wine will develop for another year or two.  The 1998 Meerlust, Merlot, Stellenbosch confused me.  The salty start reminded me of certain Syrah based wines but the herbaceousness had me leaning towards a minor wine from Bordeaux.  It is surprisingly unevolved but it may never actually arrive at maturity.

1979 Paul Jaboulet-Aine, Crozes-Hermitage
Imported by Frederick Wildman and Sons.  Alcohol 12%.  There is a good nose of mature Rhone fruit that persists until the bottle is finished.  In the mouth are rounded, perfumed flavors with a clear amount of good blue fruit and spices still present.  It finishes with some menthol gum freshness.  *** Now.

1978 Paul Jaboulet Aine, La Grand Pompee, Saint-Joseph
Imported by Frederick Wildman and Sons.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose is metallic at first then it remains deeply aromatic evoking blood and iron.  It is tangy on the nose.  There is a bright fruit start then a black fruited middle moved by watering acidity.  The wine has power but the flavors become simpler towards the end.  The strength of the vintage comes through but the wine has seen better days.  * Now.

1979 Cave des Clairmonts, Crozes-Hermitage
This smells disjointed and tastes clunk, as if sweetness was added.  Poor.

1996 Ridge, Grenache ATP, Lytton Estate, Dry Creek Valley
This wine is a blend of 92% Grenache, 6% Zinfandel, and 2% Petite Sirah.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This is a touch lighter in color making it medium garnet.  The wine changes with air for several hours, all the while maintaining a lovely nose of mixed berries and spice.  In the mouth is a ripe and perfumed start followed by a brief period of austerity.  It soon becomes racy with ripe flavors and power complemented by a fine texture and spiced finish.  This is a enjoyable wine just about to enter its mature plateau.  **** Now – 2023.

1998 Meerlust, Merlot, Stellenbosch
Imported by Cape Classics.  Alcohol 13%.  This looks young in the glass and still has a purple, grapey dark core.  The dark, salty start is interesting then the wine turns almost bitter with bits of green herbaceousness and very fine, drying tannins. It remains firm, never opening up.  ** Now but will last.

The 2015 Pierre Le Grand, Crozes-Hermitage is a savory, mouthful of wine

The 2015 Pierre Le Grand, Crozes-Hermitage must set a benchmark for dense flavor and strength when it comes to Crozes-Hermitage.  Perhaps it is atypical for the region but the wine is attractively savory, textured, and lively from acidity.  This is a lot to receive from a $20 Northern Rhone Syrah.  Give it a try!  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2015 Pierre Le Grand, Crozes-Hermitage – $20
Imported by Misa Imports.  This wine is 100% Syrah sources from 40 year old vines.  Alcohol 13%.  This is a dense, savory wine coupled with smooth edges.  There is ripe texture made more engaging by the lively acidity.  Though this wine has power it is still evocative of the Northern Rhone with its floral notes.  *** Now – 2023.