• Syrah's Top Value on the Globe:  2017 Faury Saint Joseph Vielles Vignes

    Syrah's Top Value on the Globe: 2017 Faury Saint Joseph Vielles Vignes

    Death, Taxes, & Faury Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes.

    There are guarantees in life. Each year, Domaine Faury produces the single greatest value Syrah on earth: their Saint Joseph Vieilles Vignes, from vines planted in 1937.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 2017 vintage for $46 per bottle. 

    For years I've made it no secret that this is the one bottle within the entire Northern Rhone Valley that demands everyone's first look. The value is simply unmatched. While other champions of Saint Joseph like Gonon and Chave are tipping over $100 per bottle, it only highlights the need to find equally compelling examples that deliver exceptional value. While these two names see prices increase drastically vintage after vintage, it's calming to know that Faury's cuvée featuring a selection of old vines still remains well under $50.

    In 2017, the Northern Rhône saw temperatures that surpassed 2015's, and the style of the wines are much more forward and open-knit in personality. While the VV will reveal many new layers during a recommended decant, the hallmark notes are even more obvious upon first pour than is customary. Olive tapenade, smoke, black pepper, and violets meet the tell-tale blackberry fruit. 2017 is simply a beast of a vintage for N. Rhône Syrah.

    Philippe Faury first 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 toward a newfound vineyard-first focus at the estate. New parcels were purchased on the steeply terraced granite vineyards of Côte Rôtie, Saint Joseph, and Condrieu. Today, Philippe works alongside his son Lionel who took the reigns in 2006. 

    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Renegade of Provence:  Domaine de Trévallon Blanc et Rouge

    Renegade of Provence: Domaine de Trévallon Blanc et Rouge

    Eloi Dürrbach believed Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon made a compelling duo in a very particular pocket of Provence. Through the decades he's proved this slice in Les Alpilles, The Little Alps, can produce some of the very most celebrated wines in France.

    Today, I'm happy to offer a wide range from Domaine de Trévallon.

    Domaine de Trévallon set out from inception in 1973 to tell the story of place despite rigorous opposition. 44 years later Eloi Dürrbach's vision of a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend from his family's estate has won the hearts of collectors across the globe. Burgundy, Rhone, Bordeaux, and Loire have taken the lion’s share of my most significant experiences drinking French reds over the years, but the consistency and heights that Trévallon achieves each vintage is unsurpassed. These are Grand Crulevel wines in all but name, with pricing that’s a welcomed reminder of its humble origins.


    Eloi Dürrbach planted these two varieties in the remote village of Saint-Etienne-du-Grès, a limestone goldmine on the north side of Alpilles mountains. Before phylloxera ravaged vineyards throughout France in the late 19th century Cabernet Sauvignon had been widely planted here. The appellation system set rules in the 1930's to establish which varieties could be labeled under particular zones, and Cabernet Sauvignon was given the boot. Dürbach understood his unique terroir offered the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend potential for greatness, so he chose to label his wines as France’s lowly Vin de Pays category.

    Driving north into the hills of Provence from Bandol on one sweltering July afternoon I began to wonder just how Cabernet Sauvignon could strive here. As I climbed the Alpilles with the Mediterranean shrinking in my rear-view, the road began to narrow and the incline slowly steepened. Coming down onto the northern side temperatures quickly dropped and I immediately felt ushered into this new land, Baux de Provence. The garrigue shrubbery of the south was quickly replaced by the picturesque roadway (below) leading to Trévallon.

    The Trévallon estate covers 17 hectares of almond and olive trees and vines, of which nearly all are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. 

    The whole cluster-fermented reds age in large, old foudre, a critical element in giving this wine its tremendous clarity and brightness. While the gravel of Bordeaux is home to the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon, and the granite northern Rhone to the greatest Syrah, Dürbach knows here on limestone the sum of the parts achieves something far greater than each posses on their own.

    These are magnificent wines that call to mind the dark graphite and tobacco-inflected wines of Pauillac, the black olive and violet of Côte Rôtie. And a seductive quality that reminds me each time of the treasure trove of older Burgundy that lined Eloi's personal cellar.

    To give context to the aging curve of these wines, a bottle of 1988 opened in September was incredibly fresh and continued to develop in the glass. It single-handedly made the case for the elegance and cellar potential that Provence is capable of.

    The rare blanc (3 bottles available) is comprised of 50% Marsanne, 24% Roussanne, 10% Chardonnay, 8% Grenache Blanc, 8% Clairette. Each grape variety is aged separately in barrel prior to assemblage and bottling. 

    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Renegade of Provence:  2015 Domaine de Trévallon

    Renegade of Provence: 2015 Domaine de Trévallon

    Eloi Dürrbach believed Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon made a compelling duo in a very particular pocket of Provence. Through the decades he's proved this slice in Les Alpilles, The Little Alps, can produce some of the very most celebrated wines in France.

    Today, I'm happy to revisit the most anticipated release from Provence, The 2015 Domaine de Trévallon Rouge. Included are back-vintage gems stretching to 1988.

    Domaine de Trévallon set out from inception in 1973 to tell the story of place despite rigorous opposition. 44 years later Eloi Dürrbach's vision of a Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend from his family's estate has won the hearts of collectors across the globe. Burgundy, Rhone, Bordeaux, and Loire have taken the lion’s share of my most significant experiences drinking French reds over the years, but the consistency and heights that Trévallon achieves each vintage is unsurpassed. These are Grand Crulevel wines in all but name, with pricing that’s a welcomed reminder of its humble origins.


    Eloi Dürrbach planted these two varieties in the remote village of Saint-Etienne-du-Grès, a limestone goldmine on the north side of Alpilles mountains. Before phylloxera ravaged vineyards throughout France in the late 19th century Cabernet Sauvignon had been widely planted here. The appellation system set rules in the 1930's to establish which varieties could be labeled under particular zones, and Cabernet Sauvignon was given the boot. Dürbach understood his unique terroir offered the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blend potential for greatness, so he chose to label his wines as France’s lowly Vin de Pays category.

    Driving north into the hills of Provence from Bandol on one sweltering July afternoon I began to wonder just how Cabernet Sauvignon could strive here. As I climbed the Alpilles with the Mediterranean shrinking in my rear-view, the road began to narrow and the incline slowly steepened. Coming down onto the northern side temperatures quickly dropped and I immediately felt ushered into this new land, Baux de Provence. The garrigue shrubbery of the south was quickly replaced by the picturesque roadway (below) leading to Trévallon.

    The Trévallon estate covers 17 hectares of almond and olive trees and vines, of which nearly all are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. 

    The whole cluster-fermented reds age in large, old foudre, a critical element in giving this wine its tremendous clarity and brightness. While the gravel of Bordeaux is home to the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon, and the granite northern Rhone to the greatest Syrah, Dürbach knows here on limestone the sum of the parts achieves something far greater than each posses on their own.

    These are magnificent wines that call to mind the dark graphite and tobacco-inflected wines of Pauillac, the black olive and violet of Côte Rôtie. And a seductive quality that reminds me each time of the treasure trove of older Burgundy that lined Eloi's personal cellar.

    To give context to the aging curve of these wines, a bottle of 1988 opened in September was incredibly fresh and continued to develop in the glass. It single-handedly made the case for the elegance and cellar potential that Provence is capable of.

    Posted by Alexander Rosen