From a 40 odd year old vineyard on Bessards. Prime Hermitage terroir. 100% Syrah, fully de-stemmed. Pretty sure the ageing is done in demi-muid (600lt barrels which is approximately three times bigger than the standard barrique). This wine was sat against some of the biggest Shiraz of the Barossa namely Torbreck’s Descendant and Run Rig and it didn’t get blown out of the water. While it didn’t have the same weight and impact on the palate it does have a density and intensity that put it in a good light. Along with its lean acid, tight structure and stony minerality. It’s still a pup and will open and evolve with another 5-15 years. It matched well with pecorino and I think hare would be amazing.
The Robin family were growers in Crozes-Hermitage for generations but were selling the harvest to a local co-cop until 1995. With 15 hectare to exploit and some mature plots at that the family was in a good position to start making their own wines. Crozes-Hermitage is their main production but they also source some Saint Joseph and Hermitage too. A modern maker with nods to the old school (hand picking, organic growing) his wines are pretty taut and firm with some serious complexity in there too.
Rhone Valley – One of the great wine regions in the world. Situated along the Rhone river in South East France there is a distinct divide between the Syrah dominant North where the Mistral wind cools and regulates the temperature and the hot lands in the South where Grenache is at its peak. The region produces everything from easy going quaffers to wines that demand long term cellaring. Whites can be outstanding such as Viognier made in Condrieu and Rosé makes a fair impression too.
Hermitage – The hill of Hermitage may a well be the centre of the world for Shiraz lovers. Sure the Cote Rotie gets more attention. But the dense, dark, brooding and aromatic Shiraz from this hill that slow evolves to become a pretty, lifted, melange of fruits is well worth your time and patience.
Shiraz/Syrah – A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or wine maker influence. The Syrah based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.