Wine of the Day April 14, 2015

2011BarroulNeve2011 Louis Barruol, Cote Rotie “Neve” Rhone Valley, France.
Another negociant masterpiece from Louis Barruol, the talent behind Chateau de Saint-Cosme, he certainly has a gift for Syrah and the special cuvees he does for Kermit Lynch are glorious expressions, especially this Neve Cote Rotie. Louis finds unique 100% Syrah parcels in Cote Rotie and makes small lots of each, and Kermit decides whether to bottle, unfined and unfiltered as is, or if it should be blended with another small parcel lot, but each bottling is unique and full of character. The Neve is from 30 year old vines grown on the classic schist slopes of Cote Rotie, there is no Viognier in the vineyard and none in this wine, this is pure Syrah, potent and full bodied with terroir and Barruol magic, he uses stems and ferments in cement vats before raising the wine in used barrels. The Neve 2011 is a beauty with loads of blue and black fruits, peppery spice, loamy earth and a deep blue/black core both in hue and flavors plus an exotic perfume of violets and amaro herbs. Even with the stems, Barrel has managed a stylish, elegant and smooth Syrah, much in following with classic Cote Rotie, it is not as gamey or nervy as Cornas or as powerful as Hermitage, but it shows layers of pleasure, refinement and density with vivid fruit, focus and nice vintage vibrancy. The nose starts with that violet tone, but also has savory and herbal elements leading to a lush palate of blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry and damson plum fruits along with hints of coco powder, classis, white pepper, tar, minty herbs, licorice and dried currants as well as a mineral/graphite streak, camphor, bacon and sweet kirsch. This is an excellent example of Cote Rotie and it should get better in bottle over the next 3 to 5 years, drink from 2017 to 2024.
($72 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive