2016 Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud, Crozes-Hermitage, Miss en Bouche, Northern Rhone, France.
One of the Northern Rhone’s best kept secrets and producer of some of finest values in the region, Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud crafts some excellent Syrah(s) from his tiny set of parcels in the Crozes-Hermitage area, he started his domaine in 2001 with just postage stamp (size block) of vines but worked his way up to a more serious set of vineyards, all in southern side of Crozes-Hermitage set on the zone’s Glacial alluviums of mostly smooth pebbles. His painstaking work in the vineyard yields amazing results and how he can sell this beautiful and authentic wine at under $20 is one of the great and most pleasurable mysteries in the world of Syrah! The 2016 is utterly delicious with an earthy intensity that starts with porcini/truffle and gamey Crozes purity before opening to beautiful violets and blueberry notes. Darnaud’s Crozes Mise en Bouche is a fine example of time and place, yummy from start to finish adding bright peppery spice, a touch of anise, dried herbs and damson plum as well as mineral notes and a touch of kirsch. Lighter in frame than some, there’s no whimpiness, but rustic layers of classic Northern Rhone Syrah at it’s best. Fermented in concrete vats and rested in small barrels, this 100% Syrah, 100% de-stemmed cuvee you’d never guess it had one third new oak such is the refinement and quality of fruit found here. This is a vintage to buy as much as you can, it drink lovely now, and should easily go for a decade too! Search this one out, it’s a winner, and a no brainer for the price!
($19 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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