This is an excellent expression of Crozes-Hermitage from Jann Chave in the northern Rhône Valley, one of the region’s stronger producers. It has cedar and spice aromatics. The palate reminds of syrah with its pepper and spice character. Some pastille notes express themselves at intervals. Overall, this is a very good wine that is enjoyable now and can be approached over the next 5 to 8 years. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 12.5. Price: $50s. Website: https://www.yannchave.com/en/our-wine. Reviewed: June 2020.
This is a heady Côtes du Rhône Villages wine. It opens to spicy and peppery aromatics. The palate is full bodied and the length on the finish medium. Spices, rosemary and some raisined, but savoury, fruit emerges with time. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 14.0. Price: $20. Website: http://tardieu-laurent.fr/en/la-maison-2/. Reviewed: May 2020.
From the Languedoc in the south of France, this is a delicious wine that enormously over delivers at $21. It appeals as a crossover style with new world style ripe fruit built on a savoury old world structure. The wine opens to aromas of cracked pepper, rich spicy dark fruit and coconut. The palate is full bodied, has soft tannins and a savoury lilt. Ready to drink now, this is a great value wine. Rating: Good to Very Good. Abv: 14.5. Price: $21. Website: http://www.paulmas.com/en/domains/chateau-paul-mas/. Source: Sample. Reviewed: April 2020.
From Minervois in the south of France, Les Traverses from Domaine de Courbissac is a grenache, syrah and mourvèdre blend. It has sweet smelling aromas of spice and cooked fruit compot. The palate is full bodied with medium acidity and soft tannins. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.0. Price: $35. Website: NA. Reviewed: April 2020.
This is a very good Saint Joseph syrah from Coursodon and the 2017 vintage. In the glass, there are aromas of baked plums and a distinctive, resonant pepper character. Although ripe, the wine remains medium bodied, finishing with medium to long length and peppery overtones. Ready to drink now and over the next 5 to 8 years. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.5%. Website: https://www.domaine-coursodon.com/en/. Reviewed: February 2020.
This is a very attractive expression of cool climate syrah from the Yarra Valley and Warramunda Estate. It reminds of red fruits and pepper, supported by soft tannins and is ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $35. Website: https://warramundaestate.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: February 2020.
Cave de Tain is a Rhône Valley cooperative that is well regarded. This syrah is from the IGP appellation of Collines Rhodaniennes indication géographique protegée, north of Valence. It has a restrained aroma of plums and anise. The palate has good balance and expression of sour red fruits. Ready to drink now, this is a good value syrah. Rating: Good. Abv: 13%. Price: $22. Website: https://www.cavedetain.com/fr/. Reviewed: October 2019.
From the Ventoux in the southern Rhône valley, this is a delicious grenache and syrah blend. It reminds of soft red fruits and has a plush, moreish palate. Ready to drink now, this is great value at $19. Rating: Good. Abv: 14%. Price: $19. Website: delas.com.
This a pleasant carignan and syrah blend from the south of France. It is soft and fruity, providing simple drinking at a fair price. Rating: Acceptable. Abv: 12.5%. Price: $15. Website: NA.
This is a very drinkable grenache, syrah and mourvèdre blend from the Côtes du Rhône. There are aromas of red fruits, and a balanced palate with soft tannins. Ready to drink now, this wine is best served chilled. Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $21. Website: NA.