The 2015 Northern Rhone vintage is slowly being released into the market and one thing is abundantly clear, we all need to get ready. The warm and dry growing season gave beautiful, healthy crop loads throughout the valley with regal structure. The trick is being seriously dialed in on producers who know when to take their foot off the extraction gas pedal and work to preserve freshness. Traditional winemaking in the valley without new oak influence or later-than-ideal harvests will surely be the focus of where we hunt. Today is the debut of two stars, with two very different stories.
At their best the 2015 Syrahs show enormous concentration of fruit framed with sufficient acids. Comparisons to 2009 are apt, but thus far those baked flavors don't appear to be a hallmark of 2015. Instead, we have seen a marvelous balance of forward, ripe fruit met with exquisite structure and a disciplined backbone.
Domaine Faury is one of the great traditionalists of the Northern Rhone Valley. Philippe Faury took control of the domaine in 1979, a time when peach and cherry production was more common from these vignerons. That year marked a shift to fastidious vineyard work and new parcels were purchased on the steeply terraced vineyards of Côte Rôtie, Saint Joseph, and Condrieu. Today, Philippe works alongside his son Lionel who took the reigns in 2006. We've always sung the praises of Faury's Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes as the greatest value Syrah in the world. Today we take a close look at their freshest and earliest release, the Collines Rhodaniennes IGP Syrah.
The Collines Rhodaniennes is sourced from vines planted high above Saint Joseph on a granite plateau. For centuries these granite soils have proven to be the ideal fit for Syrah to reach its very greatest heights.
20% whole cluster fermentation here to give some spice and structure, but still allowing for the robust, and forward fruit to take center stage. The wines are aged in older, large demi-muid barrel helping provide that sense of levity to this their freshest release. Blackberries, red plum, roasted meats, black pepper, and outrageous violet notes all bursting from the glass in this vintage.
The 2015 is simply the most exciting release of this wine to date, and will surely be a favorite red to have on hand for years to come. We've created special pricing to take advantage of one of the world's greatest value red wines. Do not miss this one!
2015 Faury IGP Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah
$22 per bottle.
* Down to $20 per bottle on 12 bottles or more.
And down to $18 per bottle on 24 bottles or more!
2013 Faury IGP Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah
$22 per bottle.
2013 Faury Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes
$34 per bottle.
Philippe Pacalet is one of the most fascinating and singular producers in the world. He is best known for his minimal sulphur approach to Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in Burgundy. He's also the nephew of Marcel Lapierre, who along with mentor Jules Chauvet, is largely responsible for the seismic shift throughout France, and the entire globe, toward a more natural approach to viticulture and vinification.
Pacalet recently has started producing Syrah in Cornas. His methods are a departure from the norm in the region, as he utilized the more common carbonic fermentation method of Beaujolais. This style with 100% whole clusters is wildly successful in Cornas, and the 2015 vintage couldn't have turned out more spectacular.
Laws dictate that wines labeled Cornas must be fermented in the Northern Rhone, and Pacalet has a great friend in the region Hervé Souhaut who assists in this area. In fact, during a visit in 2012 Hervé showed us his faded yellow press that had belonged to none other than Jules Chauvet! The history involved with this wine and it's connection to the birth of a movement is very exciting. Thankfully, the wine in bottle absolutely lives up to the hype of the vintage, as well as the expectations that Lapierre and Chauvet had for their band of brothers.
Like Pacalet's Burgundies, his Cornas flaunts an aromatic presence that is simply second to none. There is a transparency in color of body as well as in spirit. The fine-grained crushed granite rocks and minerality are in full focus, along with the brambly, spicy red and black fruit mélange that's in perfect equilibrium this banner vintage. The purity of the style with Pacalet is one that's vivid in its fruit profile, and places a large emphasis on the floral and mineral components. This is as fine and graceful as Syrah gets!
* Quantities here are incredibly limited, and orders will be fulfilled based upon time of request.
2015 Philippe Pacalet Cornas
$88 per bottle.
2013 Philippe Pacalet Cornas
$79 per bottle.