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 — a year ago