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  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Philippe & Vincent Jaboulet 2009 Crozes-Hermitage

    Domaine Philippe & Vincent Jaboulet
    2009 Crozes-Hermitage
     

    $22

    A good wine with good value, this is a great introduction to Syrahs from the southern part of Northern Rhône. Ready to drink now, it shows off the excellence of the 2009 vintage.

    • An inky, nearly opaque purple. The nose is evolving, offering animal scents, wet leaves, wet earth and a slightly rancio element, as well as meat, truffles, currants and other dark fruit. The palate suggests mocha, black raspberries, and blackberries, with violet emerging on the mid-palate. Well-integrated, with grippy tannins. Robust, expansive wine with a smooth texture that complements its massive frame. Approachable now but likely to drink well through 2024. Serve with roasts or smoked meats.

      Food pairing: Serve w/roasts or smoked meats

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Saint-Joseph
     

    $25

    A light but elegant Saint-Joseph, created with Syrah grapes grown on the upper half of granitic hillsides and aged 9 months in oak. We find it great for everyday drinking.

    • A deep purple-red suggesting youth and with attractive earthy, meaty scents on the nose, developing cocoa notes after a little air contact. Up-front, concentrated, rich fruit; delicate tannins; and a streak of bright acid make for a nicely balanced wine rather more refined and elegant than Saint-Joseph often is. Has a particularly seductive resurgence of fruity sweetness on the finish. A good example of the appellation. Tasty now but likely to develop further with a few more years in bottle.

      Food pairing: Chicken with morels, ratatouille, duck, lamb, turkey, lasagna, pizza

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2012 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Saint-Joseph
     

    $25

    A light but elegant Saint-Joseph, created with Syrah grapes grown on the upper half of granitic hillsides and aged 9 months in oak. We find it great for everyday drinking.

    • This is a light, delicate, Pinot drinker’s Syrah. A classic and classy example of how the Syrah grape tastes when grown in a cool climate. Juicy raspberry with a hint of white pepper. Great acidity on the finish makes this a nice food-pairing wine.

      Food pairing: Lemongrass pork

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2012 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine François Merlin
    2012 Saint-Joseph
     

    $27

    This is a robust Saint Joseph, strong and firm, particularly when compared to Pichon’s Saint Joseph. We advise giving it a little time in the cellar before drinking.

    • Exotic notes with plenty of spice — particularly anise and black pepper. Plenty of juicy raspberry and smoked meat on the palate. Complex and delicious.

      Food pairing: Korean BBQ

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine François Merlin 2011 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine François Merlin
    2011 Saint-Joseph
     

    $27

    This is a robust Saint Joseph, strong and firm, particularly when compared to Pichon’s Saint Joseph. We advise giving it a little time in the cellar before drinking.

    • Blood, roasted meat, tapenade, black truffles, coffee grounds, pepper and other savory spices, boysenberry and other dark fruits, and something earthy combine to create a complex, evolving nose. Full-bodied, with slightly jammy blueberry and other dark fruit flavors, this wine coats the mouth with violets, pungent spice, and gamey, meaty flavors. Massive structure with a lengthy, fruity finish that builds in intensity then recedes, leaving concentrated blue and black fruit flavors lingering. A baby, but already stunning! A wine possibly at peak in 2019. Calls out for wild boar or other game.

      Food pairing: Game or wild boar

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Monteillet 2011 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine du Monteillet
    2011 Saint-Joseph
     

    $29

    Made from grapes almost entirely destemmed, this wine is sourced from young Syrah vines and aged in demi-muid barrels. The result is a fresh Syrah with immediate appeal.

    • The nose overflows with licorice and dark fruit, with meat and truffles. Full bodied on the palate with violets, blueberries, and other dark fruit flavors. Substantial, with supple tannins and great concentration contributing to the dense texture. Likely to be ready in 2016–2017.

      Food pairing: Roast pork, wild boar, sausage, hearty meat dishes

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine Philippe & Vincent Jaboulet 2009 Crozes-Hermitage Nouvelère

    Domaine Philippe & Vincent Jaboulet
    2009 Crozes-Hermitage
    Nouvelère

    $29

    A play on the words nouvelle (new) and ère (era), this wine is actually sourced from the oldest vines on the Jaboulet domaine, including some once used to produce Paul Jaboulet Aîné’s most famous wines. A great introduction to Rhône Syrahs and a great value!

    • Intense black olive, dark chocolate, and dark fruit scents on the nose with mossy and briny notes developing as well. Full-bodied, with ripe blackberry and black currant flavors bursting onto the palate along with something suggestive of clay. Mouth coating, with a slightly waxy texture, well-integrated tannins, and a lengthy finish. Weighty, fleshy, and rich, with an intense concentration of fruit. Likely to be approachable from around 2016 and then drink well through around 2026 or beyond.

      Food pairing: try with a spicy beef kebab or roasted pork

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Tunnel 2011 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine du Tunnel
    2011 Saint-Joseph
     

    $30

    Drinkable now, but will improve with age. This is a rich, strong, beautiful wine, made from terraced Syrah parcels south of Tournon.

    • A wine of solid structure that will benefit from a few years in the cellar (through around 2017). Bold, with intense blackberry and spice. Drunk young, perhaps best paired with camembert and crusty bread or—even better—lamb chops.

      Food pairing: Lamb chops

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Tunnel 2012 Saint-Joseph

    Domaine du Tunnel
    2012 Saint-Joseph
     

    $31

    Drinkable now, but will improve with age. This is a rich, strong, beautiful wine, made from terraced Syrah parcels south of Tournon.

    • Quite dense on the nose, with dark tart berries. The tartness of the berry will subside over time and this Syrah will develop to have ripe raspberry and delicious mocha notes. The mouthfeel shows great structure. A very well made Syrah to add to your cellar.

      Food pairing: Dark chocolate

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Monteillet 2010 Saint-Joseph Cuvée Papy

    Domaine du Monteillet
    2010 Saint-Joseph
    Cuvée Papy

    $36SOLD OUT

    Gold medal winner in the 2013 Sommelier Wine Awards. Sourced from 25-year-old Syrah vines on the domaine’s best hillsides, Cuvée du Papy is aged on lees for twice as long as the domaine’s regular Saint-Joseph, in 1/3 new-oak demi-muids. There is no fining at the end, just a light filtration to clear deposits. The result is a fragrant, plush and powerful wine.

    • A deep garnet color with simple, clean, red fruit scents on the nose overlaid with suggestions of herbs and violets and—distantly—even subtle hints of gardenia and coconut. On the palate, this wine’s solid structure is immediately apparent. Just enough acid to keep things lively offsets layers of mouth-filling red fruit, and good tannins support the fruit. Nevertheless, much seems masked. Will need time to develop its full potential. Likely to be approaching its peak around 2017–2018.

      Food pairing: Chicken with morels, ratatouille, duck, lamb, turkey, lasagna, pizza

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Tunnel 2011 Cornas

    Domaine du Tunnel
    2011 Cornas
     

    $40

    Awarded a gold-medal in 2013 by Concours General Agricole Paris, this Syrah is said to exemplify the traditional style — rustic and sunny — of the appellation. Requires extensive cellaring.

    • The nose, characterized primarily by dark, jammy fruit, mushroom scents, leather, and spice, makes the wine seem young. The palate is full-bodied with a meaty intensity. The wine is dense and chewy, but with an ethereal quality to the blackberry, blueberry, and violet flavors present. Has well-integrated tannins. There is an attractive, savory mushroom quality to the finish. Likely to be approachable around 2017.

      Food pairing: venison and other full-flavored meats

  • French Red Rhone Wine, Domaine du Tunnel 2012 Cornas

    Domaine du Tunnel
    2012 Cornas
     

    $40

    Awarded a gold-medal in 2013 by Concours General Agricole Paris, this Syrah is said to exemplify the traditional style — rustic and sunny — of the appellation. Requires extensive cellaring.

    • A deep, inky, black-red. Cocoa and spice on the nose, but still rather closed. The palate is equally undeveloped. However, soft tannins, good acidity, and a strong underlying intensity suggest this wine will blossom in the future. A wine for the cellar.

      Food pairing: Beef; lamb; venison; other game; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or the more pungent herbs

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