At this moment in the world of fine wine, I cannot think of a better place to put your money than in Louis Barruol’s 2015s. The artistry is masterful, and nowhere is the 2015 vintage greater than in the northern Rhône. Here are three of our memorable 2015 Barruol/Lynch selections.
Today, Côte-Rôtie is enjoying a comeback. These once-neglected steep slopes overlooking the Rhône are now highly sought after by vignerons who recognize the potential for a delicious and distinctive expression of Syrah. Among them is Louis Barruol, proprietor of Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas, who has developed a small project purchasing fruit from some of the finest terroirs upriver and crafting several micro-cuvées of traditional Côte-Rôtie. This entails selecting sustainably grown Serine (an old clone of Syrah) from top vineyard sites and vinifying in neutral wood with the grape stems, as was once common practice, before an unfined and unfiltered bottling. The lieu-ditBesset lies at the top of the slope, where cooling breezes offset the richness endowed by the full southern exposure in a warm vintage. From the classic aromas of graphite, black fruit, and roasted spice, to the total finesse of its tannins, this is Côte-Rôtie at its best.
Nève is a vineyard parcel in the Côte Brune. If you don’t know what that means to Rhône fanatics, you have to taste one so you will know what the Côte Brune can do to Syrah grapes, especially when they’ve passed through Louis Barruol’s hands. This 2015 is perfectly structured, lively, and delicious. Tasting Côte Rôtie this good is an event. It could mark you and become the Côte Rôtie to which you end up comparing the others.
Lower your sniffer into your glass and revel in luxury—rarely does a wine reveal itself with such clarity. Breathe it in and all of it is right there for you. I’m a big fan of Hermitage blancs, and when I encounter them, I’m demanding. I know how magnificent they can be. My advice: don’t let this one get by. Marsanne lovers, here’s the terroir and the winemaker you’ve been waiting for.
Back in the seventies, Gérard Chave showed me some Crozes vineyards in the hills behind Hermitage that he thought surpassed others in the appellation. This wine is from those Hermitage-like sites. It has a grand cru aroma, a sumptuous, structured palate, and a long, deep, flavorful aftertaste. The 2015 Tiercerolles is above and beyond anything I have previously tasted from Crozes Hermitage—and let’s face it, folks, this is KLWM’s 45th anniversary, so I have tasted tons of Crozes over the past 45 years. Here’s the best.
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