High Praise for N. Rhone Partners in Wine & Spirits
More great press from Wine & Spirits (Feb 2021), this report focusing on the “Year’s Best Northern Rhône” and includes three of our partners: Christelle Betton (Crozes), Dumien-Serrette (Cornas) and Pierres Seches (Saint-Joseph).
Our partners here are really making some of the finest Syrah wines of their careers, which these excellent vintages and notes prove.
Christelle Betton 2018 Crozes-Hermitage ‘Espiègle’
Christelle Betton’s young-vine Crozes could pass for an Hermitage in 2018: It’s firm and spicy, with a meaty, sanguine tang to the ink-dark fruit and a sense of cool stone in its reserve. It also lasts for days after opening, firm and lithe, boding well for its future should you want to cellar it.
Christelle Betton 2018 Crozes-Hermitage ‘Caprice’
Betton’s old-vine cuvée … a more lilac-scented, purple-fruited red. The acidity intensifies the feeling of briskness, giving the wine a lively feel, and suggesting that it would benefit from time in the cellar.
Dumien-Serrette 2017 Cornas ‘Patou’
This is wild Cornas, floral, herbal and peppery. Nicolas Serrette makes it from a parcel of 70-year-old vines south of the village of Cornas, fermenting whole bunches with ambient yeasts, crushing the berries by foot and aging it a year in neutral oak barrels, so there’s no makeup on the wine—just pure red fruit with notes of bacon and black pepper, granite and herbs, lively and brisk even as the flavors run deep.
Domaines des Pierres Sèches 2018 Saint-Joseph Blanc
Sylvain Gauthier founded his St-Joseph domaine in 2007 after working with Michel Chapoutier and Stéphane Robert. He farms 13.5 acres there, including two acres planted to roussanne, which provide this wine. It’s dense and rich in a calm, quiet way, with notes of beeswax, honey, lemon and roasted peaches filling out the middle, and a mineral crunch reinforcing the structure. It ends clean, with a hint of salinity that makes it palate-whetting, and suggests a match with a fennel-stuffed roast fish.
Domaines des Pierres Sèches 2017 Saint-Joseph Rouge
From parcels of varied soils, this wine was partially destemmed and fermented with ambient yeasts, yielding a wine with an attractively earthy, animale edge. Its ripe plum flavors are generous and plump, lifted by a hint of mint—a complete and compelling St-Joseph.