2017 Bernard Burgaud Cote-Rotie Syrah 375ml

$40

Ships today if ordered within 3 hrs 12 mins

A deeply colored, rich Syrah from the most northern appellation in the Rhone Valley. The palate is full of sappy black fruit, olives, and sweet baking spice on the finish. The tannins are soft and the wine does well with a 30 minute decant before consuming.

Lovely half bottle for quiet night with a steak or a burger.

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Syrah

Of the noble grape varieties, Syrah may have the oldest geography and history. The vines origins are thought to date back to one of the world’s earliest wine-producing regions, the city of Shiraz in the Middle East. Now worshipped in the Rhône Valley in France, these dark, dense, and powerful wines can be just as distinct as Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll find this grape also largely grown in Australia, where it is identifiable as Shiraz.

Sometimes known to be “meaty,” think exotic spices and darker meat dishes to help showcase the complexity of these wines. Syrah needs time to show its greatness, but when it does, you’ll be thankful you had a bottle!

Rhône Valley, France

For ease of describing the Rhône Valley, we will associate the region by two distinct areas: The Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. The Northern Rhône, follows the River Rhône essentially from Vienne in the north down to Valence in the south. Many of their vineyards are planted on slopes situated next to the river as the valley is quite narrow and steep. There is a cold strong wind in this area, called the mistral, which can quickly damage the vines, so the valley serves as protection. The black grape variety, Syrah, dominates in the Northern Rhône. In fact, in many of the smaller appellations and crus, it is the only black grape variety allowed and produced. These wines tend to be a deep color and boast bold black fruit flavors with black pepper and florals. There are a few areas that allow for production of the white grape varieties: Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Particularly, Condrieu and Château-Grillet appellations have a reputation for high-quality Viognier. The noteworthy crus of Northern Rhône  for red wine include (but not limited to) Côte-Rôtie, Saint-Joseph, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, and Cornas. 

To the south and closer to the Mediterranean Sea lies the much larger region of the Southern Rhône. With greater vineyard areas, the Southern Rhône is focused on predominantly red wine, but showcasing a vast range of red, white, and rosé wines from high-quality to inexpensive. Here the climate is considerably more warmer than in the north and the vineyards are on flatter terrain. The mistral winds are still of concern, so many of the vines are trained low to the ground for protection. To absorb some of the heat, many of the best vineyard sites have very stony soils. Particularly, in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the stones (or galets) are large and completely cover the soil surface. Black grape varieties Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault do best in this warm, sunny climate. Hence why you often see the term “GSM” Blend (meaning Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) coined from this region, which many other regions have now adopted and use for their blends using these grape varietals. While white grape varieties are a minority to this region, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Bourboulenc are grown here. Notable cru areas are Tavel, Lirac, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and the infamous, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Generic appellations of Côte du Rhône and Côte du Rhône Villages account for more than half of the entire production with the Southern Rhône, but don’t let the generic term fool you; These appellations, although not cru status, are also putting out some spectacular quality wines! 

Bernard Burgaud is one of the more understated producers of the Côte-Rôtie appellation, making just one wine from 100% Syrah. After inheriting the family business from his father in 1980, he began bottling his own wine in 1982, shortly before he first met Martine, and their partnership began with the 1983 vintage.

From his small domaine, perched atop a steep hill overlooking Ampuis, he produces 1,000 cases a year from 22 acres of vines planted in several lieux-dits in the appellation, the majority from the Les Moutonnes and Côte Blonde vineyards. Bernard believes the blending of his terroirs results in a more complete and balanced wine: His vineyards in the Côte Brune provide power and muscularity, while those in the Côte Blonde bring finesse and elegance. Bernard eschews passing trends and stays true to traditional methods, aging his wines in 600-liter barrels, 20% of which are new and the rest up to five years old.

The resulting cuveés are best personified by Bernard himself, a humble, charming, traditional man who waxes poetic on the beauty of his land and his wine. His classic, well-balanced wines taste of black fruit and olives, with earthy and rustic flavors. They are to be aged, developing into perfectly elegant wines.

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