Reds from the Northern Rhone

This flight features 3 wines from the Northern Rhone, all 100% Syrah.

Domaine Eric et Joel Durand, Cornas, Empreintes 2005 In the nose there is tar, a sense of permanent solution, meat and black fruits. With more air the black pepper comes on. On the palate this wine is chewy and earthy, medium weight, with hints of black pepper and plenty of acidity to balance the chewiness. This cuvee of younger vine Syrah is priced about one-third lower than their Cornas Confidences. Recolte, eleve et mis en bouteille a Chateaubourg 13.5% $29.99 at K&L

Domaine Jamet, Cote-Rotie 2005 In the nose the fruit is right out front, not waiting to emerge, blended with earthiness and black pepper. The palate is complete with flavor and structure. There’s gaminess, black pepper and tart black fruits. The considerable acidity frames the wine while the ripe tannins complement without a hint of astringency. Though this flight isn’t a competition between the 3 wines, this bottle from Jamet certainly takes the prize for concentration, which is immense. Put this baby in the cellar and forget about it ’till your kids are grown.  Mis in Le Vallin in Ampuis 12.5% $86.99 at Bottle Barn

E. Guigal, Hermitage 2003 The sweetness of the house style comes through with just a little air. There’s a sense of a vanilla-laden berry cobbler enticing you to take sip. In the mouth this is a very approachable wine from Hermitage, benefiting from Guigal’s hand at always rounding the edges alongside the warmth and ripeness of the ’03 vintage – easy to love. Eleve et mis en bouteille Ampuis 13% $57.99 at Bottle Barn Guigal

About Ray

Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. He writes about food and wine, his travels and the business of wine. He makes his home in Sonoma County, California.
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