2015 Domaine de Sulauze, Les Amis, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rouge, France.
Karina and Guillaume Lefere’s Domaine de Sulauze is an all organic estate focusing on natural styled wines from near Aix en Provence and their Les Amis is 100% Sereine (clone of Syrah) red that is all carbonic maceration wine. This Syrah was fermented in tank and shows a vigorous vitality and is low in natural alcohol at 12.5%. The Seleine clone Les Amis, is unique in Provence, it’s found also in Crozes-Hermitage and other parts of the Northern Rhone, (it) was raised in large foudres and aged for 9 months, made with care and attention to simplicity, the Lefevre’s wanted a fresh and pure wine to share with friends, hence the name. Bottled both in 750 and Magnums, the Domaine de Sulauze Les Amis Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Syrah is wonderfully expressive with none of the flaws or funkiness you sometimes find in natural wines. The 2015 Les Amis, tasted from Magnum, is vivid, bright and tangy juicy with an almost Morgon Cru Beaujolais start, but with Syrah tannin structure and a deep purple/garnet hue in the glass, highlighting it’s carbonic profile, it is best with a slight chill and free flowing, it’s a delicious and an easy wine to enjoy. Starting with a touch of dark jolly rancher candied fruit, light floral tones, crushed stones, leather and nervy herbal notes things get a bit more serious with air, helping fill out the medium bodied palate adding plum, blueberry, tart cherry and racy currant layers. A delicate violet and anise also come through as well as earth and wild lavender oil, but the pure and vibrant fruit stays in charge throughout, best with simple, though robust country cuisine, this Les Amis makes for an excellent companion at a BBQ and or a picnic. Domaine de Sulauze is best known for their Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, “Galinette Blanc” a savvy blend of 40% Grenache Blanc, 20% Uni Blanc, 20% Clairette and 20% Vermentino (Rolle), as well as their stylish Côteaux d’Aix en Provence, “Pomponette” Rosé crafted from 60% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10%Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Vermentino (Rolle) that is one of my regional favorites. As their importer, Nadia Dmytriw of Floraison Selections notes, Guillaume and Karina Lefebvre came to the domaine in 2004 and immediately went to all organic methods and a few years later converted to biodynamic farming as well, adding a few interesting twists today the domaine is a winery, brewery and mixed use farm, even growing all natural grains for their beers. I’ve been a fan for a few vintages now, but I think the latest set of wines have been a step up and I’m really impressed with these 2015 and 2016 wines, especially this exciting and fun Les Amis Syrah, this is a Domaine and Vignerons to keep an eye on!
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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