Vintage 2015 in the northern Rhône gave a generous, full-throttle style of Syrah loaded with dense, ripe tannins. Lionel Faury beautifully captured the exceptional conditions: the pungent aroma of this inky-dark Saint Joseph betrays its deep, concentrated flavors the product of low yields of ripe Syrah in granite soils. Black olive, black fruit, and roasted spices soar from the glass, and yet the wine somehow graces the palate with a featherweight touch—that’s the Faury signature. The hedonistic richness of flavor flows seamlessly into an elegant, silky finish, perfect for smoky summer barbecues as well as warming comfort on a cool, foggy night.
Along the steep, narrow valley that traces the northern Rhône, the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Saint-Joseph take their place among the great wines of France, and Domaine Faury is one of the region’s most artisanal producers. When Philippe Faury took over the domaine in 1979, the family was selling wine, peaches and cherries, and the bulk of their clientele was local. Over the years, Philippe increased their holdings to over 11 hectares and began to sell internationally. He shared his savoir faire with his son, Lionel. Since 2006, Lionel has taken over the reins, though father and son still work side by side. Every method they use encourages the grape towards greatness with the ultimate respect for its fragility.
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch