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2015 Côte Rôtie “La Boisselée”

Barruol / Lynch

2015 Côte Rôtie “La Boisselée” Barruol / Lynch - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant

That Syrah is tough to sell is an old wine business cliché, and as with most clichés, there’s some truth in it. For whatever reason, this beguiling, dark-skinned grape hasn’t captivated wine drinkers the way other varieties have. I think it’s because the best Syrahs somehow seem inscrutable. Instead of leaping out of the glass, they pull you in. They have interesting and unusual aromas, and are slightly off-kilter in an intriguing way, like the waltz in 5/4 time in Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique. If you happen to be a Syrah devotee, like me, you probably appreciate these qualities in your wine—and perhaps in your music as well.
      Although everyone’s experience is different, I’d be willing to wager that for most Syrah lovers, the seminal Syrah experience was with a bottle from the northern Rhône. It’s an improbable combination of grape and place, with vineyards so steep and punishing to work that even the scions of famous domaines think twice about taking over from their hardworking parents. Louis Barruol traverses the slopes of Côte Rôtie—the northernmost appellation in the northern Rhône—for the most expressive parcels of Syrah. He vinifies each separately, and then Kermit tastes through every lot and assembles the final blends.
     
This is one for the cellar. Weighty up front, but with an unexpected delicacy on the finish. Ripe, but balanced with savory elements. This is what all the fuss is about.

Dustin Soiseth

$79.00
Vintage: 2015
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Syrah
Appellation: Côte Rôtie
Country: France
Region: Northern Rhône
Producer: Barruol Lynch - Northern Rhône
Winemaker: Louis Barruol
Vineyard: 30 - 50 years
Soil: Schist
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Northern Rhône

On the wines of the northern Rhône, Kermit wrote in Adventures on the Wine Route, “The best combine a reminder of the sunny Mediterranean with the more self-conscious, intellectual appeal of the great Burgundies farther north, which is not a bad combination.” Like the wines of Provence, Burgundy, and Beaujolais, Kermit was introduced to this region by Richard Olney, an American ex-pat and friend of Alice Waters.

Though technically part of the same region as the southern Rhône and connected by the Rhône River, much differentiates the north from the south. The climate is continental and in general cooler than that Mediterranean climate of the south. The appellations are significantly smaller: Cornas has less than 300 acres planted to vine and Hermitage around 345. The area planted is minute when compared to Gigondas (3,000+ acres) and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (nearly 8,000 acres). Many of the great wines come from steep hillside vines—terraced during Roman times. It was clear to the Romans that great wine could be made here and DNA evidence now shows that Syrah is in fact indigenous to the Rhône.

The terroir is predominantly granite and lastly, blends of the wines are mostly single grape varieties. Only four grape varieties are permitted in AOC blends: Syrah, Viogner, Marsanne, and Roussanne (as compared to the 19 permitted varieties allowed in Châteauneuf). The red wines are nearly all Syrah and Condrieu and Château Grillet must be 100% Viogner. The whites of Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Saint Péray, and Crozes-Hermitages may only be blends of Marsanne and Roussanne.

More from Northern Rhône or France

2015 Côte-Rôtie “Besset”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Côte Rôtie

$79.00

2015 Côte-Rôtie

Lionel Faury  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Côte Rôtie

$65.00

2015 Hermitage Blanc “La Pierrelle”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Hermitage

$77.00

2014 Hermitage Rouge “La Pierrelle”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Hermitage

$75.00

2012 Côte Rôtie “La Boisselée”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Côte Rôtie

$79.00

2015 Saint Joseph Rouge

Domaine Faury  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Saint-Joseph

$32.00

2015 Crozes Hermitage “Tiercerolles”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Crozes Hermitage

$35.00

2016 Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah

Lionel Faury  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Collines Rhodaniennes

$24.00

2013 Côte Rôtie “La Boisselée”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Côte Rôtie

$79.00

2015 Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah “l’Art Zélé”

Domaine Faury  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Collines Rhodaniennes

$32.00

2015 Côte-Rôtie “Nève”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Côte Rôtie

$79.00

2013 Hermitage Rouge “La Pierrelle”

Barruol / Lynch  France  |  Northern Rhône  |  Hermitage

$76.00

For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.

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