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Barruol/Lynch

by Chris Santini

Buy this collection (3 bottles)

$216.00

Kermit is crazy,” says Louis Barruol, with a smile and an approving wink, as he taps his wine thief into a fresh barrel of Crozes Hermitage. “We used to make two, maybe three cuvées together from the northern Rhône each year... and now... eleven!” For a brief moment, I see his mind flare up with thoughts of what eleven different cuvées really means: different bottlings, different stocks to manage, different labels, and different orders not to mix up. He then pulls out some purple, vibrant juice from the barrel and lets it into our glasses. We give it a whirl, and with Louis now reassured that it’s all worth it, he concedes, “Crazy is good!”
                After more than a decade of collaborating and poking around Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage, and Côte Rôtie, Louis and Kermit have come up with a panoply of different batches from great and famous terroirs as well as obscure and unknown parcels. Finished wines from each parcel are tasted and scrutinized. Some are kept pure, like the single-vineyard Hermitage Pierrelle, and other lots are blended, such as the Crozes Hermitage Tiercerolles (five parcels) and the Côte Rôtie Les Roses (two parcels). The blending is simply a question of balance and harmony, tweaking notes of smoked ham, white pepper, and blackberry from the Crozes, while emphasizing the classic and unique violet, graphite, and licorice notes of the Côte Rôtie. The secret to the Marsanne from the Pierrelle parcel on the hill of Hermitage is picking early to ensure tension, expression, and salinity, while retaining the long and lingering bitter notes. It’s not every day you get to wrap your hands around an Hermitage blanc, folks. Dig in while you can.





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