2016 Le Temps des Copains, Fratis “Love & Grapes” Project, Syrah, Vin de France.
This 100% Syrah from Philippe Viret, in the Southern Rhone Valley, who practices Cosmoculture, an energy based belief system of organic farming beyond biodynamic that goes deep into the relationship between man and nature with the influence on every living thing that comes from unseen forces/energy on them, the universe’s mysterious effect and cycles are cherished/respected, while no added elements (except natural treatments in the vines) are used. This deep and earthy Syrah was fermented in tank, then aged in amphora (big ancient style clay terra-cotta pot) at Domaine de L’Ecu in Muscadet, Loire Valley, by Fred Niger, who also does his own line in amphorae, including a Cabernet Franc “Mesphisto” and Pinot Noir “Ange” crafted in a natural wine style with little of no manipulation or no added sulfur, or in this case extremely low sulfur. One of a set of collaborations under Fred’s new “Love & Grapes” project this Le Temps des Copains Fratis Syrah starts with a lovely deep garnet/red hue in the glass and a lightly perfumed bouquet with an underlying sensual earthy tones with hints of chalky loam, forest floor, olive skin/oil and pretty black and red fruits as well as peppercorns, bitter lavender oil and kirsch before on medium full palate of solid ripe fruit including black raspberry, loganberry, tangy blueberry, delicate cassis notes, sweet cherry/plum and anise. This wine is youthful, but refined in texture and layered, it’s unique and beautiful that looks set to aged well, it has serious form and it’s performance in the glass is more than impressive, I’m hooked!
($45 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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