Good value from the Rhone? Well, sure, we find those all the time, take your pick.
How about a great deal from the Northern Rhone, though, Syrah’s ancestral homeland? That’s more of a challenge, but I do believe this offer more than meets it!
Ferraton Crozes-Hermitage “La Matiniere” 2010 – 91 pts Wine Specator - $16.99 net / reg. $24.99 – save 32%!
This is one of only eight wines in the past four vintages from the Northern Rhone to score 91 pts or better and sell for under $25! And we’re selling it for $17!
From first whiff, there’s no mistaking this for a Syrah from anywhere but the terraced vineyards of the Northern Rhone Valley. There’s a sense of freshness and verve, with floral and lavender notes, and also textbook white pepper, also licorice and black olive.
That’s some serious complexity for this price, and then it just gets better with a bit of air…
The fruits run bright and fresh as well, plums and blackberries on the palate. And while this is still young, it’s already showing its secondary, savory character, with hints of tobacco, smoked meat, and a savory grilled herb quality.
Famed Rhone superstar Michel Chapoutier’s work with Ferraton ranks as one the great success stories in the improving quality of the region’s wines, according to Robert Parker. And we are only too happy to voice our full-throated agreement!
At every level, from their top-rated Hermitage, St. Joseph, and Condrieu on down, they represent incredible value, while still showcasing both terroir and vintage specificity.
He’s converted the vineyards to biodynamic viticulture, in order to get the healthiest fruit without interfering with the natural microclimate.
With this wine, he uses only traditional large neutral old barrels, helping maintain elegance and freshness and terrific energy and acidity. To me it’s that cool-climate racy mineral earthiness that sets this apart from Syrah grown elsewhere.
As soon as you start making heartier fare, this wine is going to come in awfully handy! Ideally I’d wait a month or two to open this, and then decant a bit, let it flesh out a little, and pair with some braised beef short ribs with roasted autumn veggies.