2017 Laurent Fayolle Croze-Hermitage ‘Clos Les Cornirets’

$53

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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!

Laurent Fayolle is the 6th generation to run this small family estate in the Northern Rhône village of Gervans. In 2002, when his father and uncle split up the family domaine amongst their children, Laurent took control of 7 hectares of prime heirloom parcels (many over 60 years old) in the granite hills located on the backside of the hill of Hermitage. The slopes found in this area around Gervans, Crozes-Hermitage and Larnage are part of the original Crozes-Hermitage classification from 1937 (the southern sections of Les Chassis and Mercurol were added in 1952) due to their close resemblance to the noble hill that looms over them.

Once at the helm, his first action was to convert everything to organic farming. Along with his light touch in the cellar (which includes a soft extraction and use of concrete and minimal new wood), he is able to take the incredible raw materials from the complex terroirs he farms (terraced granite and loess slopes, limestone, round river galets) and create wines of supreme elegance and refinement. This is “Grand Cru” Crozes at its absolute finest.

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