#rhonevalley

Domaine Jean Michel Stéphan

Coteau de Bassenon Côte-Rôtie Syrah 2013

Mason Balistreri
9.6

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
— 4 months ago

Keith, Dick and 9 others liked this
Mason Balistreri

Mason Balistreri Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@jordanwardlaw Thanks for the idea! It's been awhile since I've had texier's wines. I usually really liked them and I know he is a big natural wine guy too.
Jennifer

Jennifer

Beautiful
Tom Casagrande

Tom Casagrande Influencer Badge

Nice write-up

Domaine La Garrigue

Vacqueyras 2014

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
8.4

Needs time. Med complexity and length. Good bones. #domainedelagarrigue #vacqueyras #rhonevalley #southernrhone #ctbucklinwine — a year ago

Keith and David liked this

Domaine le Sang des Cailloux

Cuvée Doucinello Vacqueyras Red Rhone Blend 2014

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
8.5

Once the funk blew off this #vacqueyras was in a great drinking state. Good body. Fine complexity. A well done wine. #domainelesangdescailloux #rhonevalley #southernrhone #ctbucklinwine — a year ago

Kevin liked this

Domaine du Coulet (Matthieu Barret)

Billes Noires Cornas Syrah 2011

Mason Balistreri
9.2

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
— 4 months ago

Dick, David and 17 others liked this
Bob McDonald

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@Mason Balistreri Great Note.....and illuminating.

Château de Saint-Cosme

Côtes du Rhône Les Deux Albion 2016

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
8.7

Medium to medium + intensity. Orange blossom and rind, flowers, pear and herb. Palate was rich and alcohol was felt. Medium complexity. Medium acid. Touch of phenolic bitterness. Well put together. Needs food. #saintcosme #rhoneblanc #rhonevalley #ctbucklinwine — a year ago

David, Keith and 2 others liked this

Isabelle Boulaire

Hommage Lirac Grenache Noir Blend Rosé 2016

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
8.3

Medium intensity and complexity on the nose with a candied orange/blood orange note dominating. The body was moderate with fine acidity. Medium complexity with and refreshing finish. Great drinkability. #isabelleboulaire #lirac #rhonevalley #grenache #rose #roseallday #ctbucklinwine — a year ago

David liked this

Château de Beaucastel

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhône Blend 1998

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
8.9

From #magnum I was a touch concerned with the past storage conditions of this bottle based off the color, a loose structure and oxidative notes. Complexity and character were good but the structure was lacking taking away from the potential energy and length. #1998 #chateauneufdupape #chateaudubeacastel #rhonevalley #ctbucklinwine — 9 months ago

David, jesus and 4 others liked this

Domaine de Marcoux

Côtes du Rhône Red Rhone Blend 2014

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
9.0

A fantastic #cotesderhone at great value. The nose is offputting at first with reductive notes. The palate is well balanced and sweet with nice energy and impressive length. On the feminine side. #domainedemarcoux #babychateauneuf #rhonevalley #ctbucklinwine — a year ago

David and Daniel P. liked this

André Perret

Saint-Joseph Syrah 2015

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
8.8

Young, full, and tight with brooding fruit. Great bones but needs time. #saintjoseph #syrah #andreperret #rhonevalley #ctbucklinwine — a year ago

David and Keith liked this

Isabelle Boulaire

Blanc Roc Lirac Grenache Blanc Blend 2016

Charles (Chad) Bucklin
8.4

Muted at the moment. Medium weight with flowers, nuts, and melon. Great acidity. Needs food. #isabelleboulaire #lirac #blanc #rhonevalley #ctbucklinwine — a year ago