Blackberry, plum, and fig. Grenache, Carignan, #biodynamic — a year ago
2017 vintage. Floral, lime, tropical notes. Feels a little hollow, lacking depth, but still enjoyable #biodynamic — 2 years ago
Perfumed, flowery nose, brisk and lean red berry fruits. Not much depth, slight bitterness on the finish #biodynamic — 2 years ago
Syrah seemingly in the zeitgeist right now so I picked up this 2011 Coulet. Wow - it's so different than the Cote Rotie I just had. I know syrah can run the gamut but this is radically different. Biodynamic, low so2, neutral oak & concrete. Not really Vin de Garde; Not really Vin de Soif...
So what then? Certainly intense. Plum & liqueur-like raspberry notes that are both in-your-face "sexy" & "scary" at the same time. Even more prevalent than the fruit are the aromas of menthol, acetate, & iron. Nearly akin to robitussin - & I mean that in the best way possible. It's weirdly delicious & syrah freaks will get it.
Unfortunately, the regular consumer might find it to be too much. The slight volatility is both good & bad. It dials up the fruit's sweetness, giving the wine body & texture. But also amps up the medicinal quality. This is not a wine to guzzle & ignore. Admirably, not subtle.
Coincidentally this wine reminds me Pax - who is getting a lot of attention right now & rightfully so. I have't tried the new 100 point Hillside bottle yet (though I have one ready), but I've always been a huge fan of his wines for a long time. My favorite site he works with is Griffins Lair & I believe I've tasted every vintage of it going back to 2002. Those original vintages are bigger & riper (which I still love & fuck you hipsters for not), but even back then Pax never used superfluous new oak, sulfites, yeasts etc.. Yes, they were broad shouldered wines but they were pure & unmasked - like this Cornas. Some of the early 2000s Griffins Lair had a slight volitility that came across as kirsch sweetness. It's an interesting balance that punctuates the varietal character perfectly - & it demands your attention while doing it.
This Cornas is not some delicate wine that somms gush over; nor is it a slick, parkerized wine without sense of place. It's something else. A wine for the true syrah aficianado. The audience is small but those who can appreciate it, will appreciate it. If you like weirdness, intensity, complexity & the flavors to scream at you from the glass, this is your wine.
#cornas #syrah #coulet #biodynamic #pax #coterotie #rhone #northernrhone #rhonevalley — 2 years ago
Cool label, but can you explain what the hell "sérine" is? Apparently it's some tight clustered Syrah clone that's both "highly precise" and "vulnerable to disease". Sounds risky... Especially considering this comes from the frighteningly steep terraces of Cote Rotie. Not only that, but the wines were made without new oak or sulfur. He also picks early and uses some amount of carbonic maceration. Jean Michel Stephan uses to work for Guigal, but I guess he must of learned "what not to do" instead of mimicking the style.
The intensity is beyond belief! Cote Rotie is already aromatic, but this is amplified by the carbonic quality. Further, there's a large amount of Viognier here too, which lends a bright tropical punch in the midst of classic Syrah notes (tapenade? meatiness?). There's some similarity to the Matthieu Barret Cornas I just drank, but this has far more clarity in the aromatics - a quality both important and underrated. So striking here are the aromatics, it's hard to even move on to actually tasting the wine - but once you do, it surprises again.
This wine's balance is very strange... No oak, but the high acidity is tapered by carbonic maceration. It's soft, but lean at the same time. There's a slight oily texture which might be from the Viognier, but it's counter balanced by an amazing display of fresh fruit. Raspberry, pear, black cherry, and even pineapple. From the nose to the mid palate it's an exhilarating wine., but the finish is noticeably abrupt. The tannins are tart and bitter like the skin of an under ripe plum. Aesthetically it works. From the nose all the way into the mid palate, this wine is so "over-the-top" that a sudden, unexpected bitterness comes across as a moment of clarity instead of disappointment.
I highly recommend the wine. I hope to taste other vintages and bottlings.
#syrah #naturalwine #coterotie #northernrhone #jeanmichelstephan #syrah #biodynamic #rhone #northernrhone #rhonevalley — 2 years ago