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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 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.

    • Light, fruity, grapey scents mingle with suggestions of caramel, butter, and ripe red fruit. Straightforward and immediately appealing on the palate with an attractive, sapid quality. Good body, light tannins, and good acidity combine for a balanced flavor profile. Savory, subtle, restrained. Appealing now but likely to soften somewhat with another year or two in bottle.

      Food pairing: Lamb; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or pungent herbs

  • 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 Syrah that’s both a great value for everyday drinking and good to have a stock of in the cellar. Flavors of dark berries and spice, solid structure, and nice acidity. Very rich and ripe. Ready to drink, but I would recommend cellaring it through 2017–2019.

      Food pairing: Grilled lamb

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

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2012 Saint-Joseph
     

    $27

    Rarely exported, this white Saint-Joseph is made of 100% Marsanne grapes, grown on granitic soil. More flavorful and fruity than an Ermitage White, with more richness and breadth on the palate than a Saint-Peray.

    • A wine with great depth and a complex, bright nose. The citrus comes out, but the fruit is ripe so this wine is approachable now. This wine is nicely balanced with citrusy acidity giving way to more depth and richness as you sip.

      Food pairing: Sushi

  • 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 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 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 White Rhone Wine, Domaine du Tunnel 2012 Saint-Péray Cuvée Prestige

    Domaine du Tunnel
    2012 Saint-Péray
    Cuvée Prestige

    $29

    This is the prestige wine — best white of the domaine — harvested from the best and oldest Marsanne and Roussanne vines to create a blend with substance and finesse. Made in very small quantities, this wine flies off the shelves in France. Get it while it lasts!

    • Fresh, with stone-fruits, minerals, and spring flowers. Approachable and easy to drink but with an acidic backbone that suggests pairing with cheeses and fruit.

      Food pairing: Brie and pears

  • 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!

    • Dark fruit is the core characteristic of this lively Syrah. Slightly spicy, with raspberry and blackcurrant flavors, and lots of grip on the finish. This wine has had considerable time in the bottle, but the fruit is still fresh and intense.

      Food pairing: Short ribs

  • 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.

    • A deep, inky red color. A slightly restrained nose suggests blueberries, cocoa, and hints of soy. Although somewhat closed, it still has real presence on the palate, boasting dark fruit, cocoa, and blueberries. Still rather closed, it suggests an attractive softening in the years to come. A wine to watch.

      Food pairing: Lamb; sausages; grilled or barbecued meat; pungent stews; pepper steak; dishes flavored with olives or pungent herbs

  • French White Rhone Wine, Domaine Christophe Pichon 2011 Condrieu Patience

    Domaine Christophe Pichon
    2011 Condrieu
    Patience

    $32

    A late-harvest sweet wine, unusual for the region, the Condrieu Patience evokes violet and yellow fruit. Harvested from 20-year-old Viognier vines and only made on exceptional years, Patience is a lovely reward for those who can wait for it.

    • In lieu of dessert, some prefer to serve a decadent dessert wine with an accompaniment of cheeses. This beauty has flavors of honey, apricot, acacia, and pure joy. Very pleasant, honeyed mouthfeel. Stone fruits a-plenty on a drawn-out finish. A dessert wine, but not syrupy, thick, or overly sweet. If you find an irresistible blue cheese or camembert, pop the cork on this bottle to go along with it.

      Food pairing: Cambozola cheese

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