Saturday Sips is back! We are applying in-store tasting protocols to ensure everyone stays safe and will limit the number of people tasting at any given time and adhere to proper social-distancing using assigned tasting spots marked on the floor. Our tasting glasses will be one time use for the day but feel free to bring your own glass if you wish. We hope to see you soon.
This Saturday we travel to the Northern Rhône and sample the bold yet elegant Syrah-based wines the region is most known for. The narrow, terraced vineyards on the steep banks of the Rhône River are some of the oldest in France. Many are so steep that pulley systems must be used for cultivation. The majority of wine made there is from the Syrah grape, and the region’s most celebrated wines are the intense, long-lived reds from Hermitage and Côte Rôtie.
While Northern Rhône produces some of the world’s most sought after (and expensive) wines, there is still great value to be found from excellent producers in the less famous appellations. Our Saturday Sips Review Package features a nice variety that won’t break the bank.
Saturday Sips Review: $272 — 8 Bottles from Northern Rhône
The price for this Saturday Sips Review Package includes tax and delivery, as well as a 10% discount. We will also honor a 10% discount on any bottles you might wish to add to the Wine-Aid package.
Maxime Graillot, son of winemaker Alain Graillot, established Domaine des Lises in 2004. Like his father, Maxime acquired a passion for exploring the Syrah grape’s greatest potential. The estate is based in the Beaumont-Monteux commune of Crozes-Hermitage just a few kilometers south of Tain l’Hermitage.
2 Bottles Domaine des Lises (Crozes-Hermitage 2017) Regular Price: $48
Maxime practices organic viticulture to farm the lieu dit of “Les Picheres” planted with 35+ year old vines. The vineyard consists of gravel soils that are low in clay, allowing for fast draining. 100% Syrah, the fruit is 80% de-stemmed and once fermented the wine is aged in older Burgundy barrels from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Aromatics of ripe black fruits are followed by notes of black olive and resin. A sip is complex and spicy, perfect to pair with bold dishes like smoked meats.
This up-and-coming small estate consists of 54 acres of vines across the appellations of Saint-Joseph, Saint-Péray, and Cornas, and is run by brothers Eric and Joel Durand. Methods are sustainable, yields are moderate, and the approach is geared towards producing wines of elegance, subtle power, and great purity.
2 BOTTLES “Prémices” (Cornas 2016) Regular Price: $40
100% Syrah, “Prémices” comes from a selection of granite soil plots in areas that produce soft yet refined wines. Vines are 13 to 15 years old and yields are low. The grapes are harvested at peak balance and de-stemmed before fermentation. Maturation lasts for 12 months in used casks to produce a wine both generous and fresh, with fine yet prominent tannins.
2 BOTTLES “Les Coteaux” (Saint-Joseph 2017) Regular Price: $36
100% Syrah, “Les Coteaux” is produced from vines 20 to 30 years old in granite soils in the south of the Saint-Joseph appellation . The vines are planted on steep hills facing south-southwest. Yields are low and the grapes are harvested at peak balance and de-stemmed before fermentation. Maturation lasts for 12 months in used casks. A beautiful, ripe nose of red fruit precedes a full fleshy wine with nice concentration and rounded tannins.
2 BOTTLES “Syrah” (IGP Ardèche 2018) Regular Price: $19
The Durand’s easy-drinking 100% Ardèche Syrah comes from plots situated near Saint-Joseph and Cornas. The fruit is hand-harvested and 100% destemmed before vinification in stainless-steel tank. After a further nine months aging in stainless-steel tank the result is a wine with aromas of red fruits and spices that is light and smooth on the palate with subtle tannins and a fresh finish.