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.