This Vieilles Vignes Côte-Rôtie this is Syrah as it should be, at least as defined by the variety’s spiritual home in France’s Northern Rhône: gently medium-bodied, with a tensile peppery freshness lifting aromas of lilac florals, smoked meat, iodine-nori, blueberry, Asian spice, orange zest and apricot pith, the latter attesting to a dollop of Viognier in the blend. The oak effortlessly frames the crescendo of flavours, serving as an adjunct rather than a scream. This is the sort of Syrah that is near-impossible to craft in Australia where sugar ripening outpaces phenolic maturity and alcohol soars. Côte-Rôtie (roasted slope) sees gradual ripening of fruit to facilitate the sort of attenuated tannins that define the world’s best wines. This, no exception.
"Opaque ruby. Deeply pitched, mineral-accented aromas of blackberry, cherry pie and violet are complemented by a suave suggestion of exotic spices. Sappy and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining black/blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors and a subtle hint of salty olive. Finishes sweet, seamless and extremely long, displaying sharply delineated mineral and floral pastille notes and steadily building tannins. (all whole clusters)"
94-95 Points, Vinous (February 2019)
"100% Sérine clone (more than 60 years old). 100% stems. Fruit from Landonne, Lancement and Chavaroche. 12 months in new- and one-year-old oak plus a further 12 months in foudres (Tronçais and Allier).
Deep purple. What a contrast to the regular Côte Rôtie 2017 from this producer! Very intense and savoury – like essence of the appellation. Juicy and salty with very intense, super-appetising fruit in the middle. Very glamorous and ambitious. Excellent freshness and structure. A very serious wine that delivers a great deal of pleasure."
17.5 points, JancisRobinson.com (September 2018)
"100% Syrah. Cask sample.
Tasted blind. Rubbery reduction on the nose, but loads of pure black fruit and peppery spice on the palate. Once the reduction dissipates, there is a beautiful wine in waiting, with excellent concentration of blackcurrant fruit and superb spicing."
16.5++ points, JancisRobinson.com (November 2018)
"Vivacious, with vivid plum, cassis and anise notes racing through, flecked by mouthwatering tapenade and bay leaf accents. Reveals a floral lift in the background and a bolt of iron on the finish."
96 points, Wine Spectator (2020)