Grapelive: Wine of the Day July 19, 2015

2012FaurieGoldCapsuleHerm2012 Bernard Faurie, Hermitage Rouge, Gold Capsule, Northern Rhone, France.
The 2012 Bernard Faurie Hemitage is one of the most beautiful Syrah wines I’m had in years, this gorgeous wine comes from two historic plots, Le Meal and Les Bessards on the famed Hermitage hill, and these blocks are over a 100 years old, making it a truly noble effort. The Gold Capsule is always Meal/Bessards, so be sure to look close, as there no markings on the label indicating which Crus it comes from, though all the Faurie Hermitage bottling will be well worth investing in, no question these are prized wines from a tiny artisan producer, imported by Kermit Lynch, and are extremely rare. I was lucky enough to enjoy the Bernard Faurie Saint-Joseph earlier this year, it was sublime, but this Hermitage is clearly on another plane and is heavenly, it is not a big and a blockbuster, it is more like a Grand Cru Burgundy, it has pedigree and delicacy with glorious layers and harmony, it seduces and it is hauntingly addictive with sensual and textural pleasure. Bernard Faurie uses ultra traditional methods, it is a simple formula of handcrafted wine, he carefully hand picks and ferments the grapes from Hermitage’s granite, limestone and quartz hillside soils, foot stomps the grapes whole cluster with stems and puts the unfiltered juice in big neutral casks for 2 or 3 years depending on vintage and bottles unfined, and the results are surprisingly poised and graceful, there is no doubt these wines are pure expressions of class, terroir and are masterpieces of this special place. It is hard to compare Bernard Faurie’s version of Hermitage, but to try and give you an example, it has the purity and regal essence of Chapoutier’s great singe Crus, though with a more raw feel, and it is nowhere near as powerful or as imposing as Chave’s L’Hermitage, and there’s a hidden depth in the Faurie and almost feminine sexiness, in the 2012 especially, it is utterly spellbinding. There 2012 Gold Capsule, Meal/Bessards starts with earthy spice, mint, leather and violets leading to an elegant and restrained palate in this deeply hued, purple and garnet Syrah with blackberry, boysenberry, damson plum, currant and cherry fruits subtly cascading in the mouth along with red and black pepper, black olives, cassis, wild mushroom, bacon fat and light salted black licorice. This is absolutely drop dead stunning Hermitage, it should fill out in bottle over the next 3 to 5 years and drink wonderfully over the next decade and a half, though ridiculously thrilling already, best from 2018 to 2025.
($130 Est.) 95+ Points, grapelive