2011 Laurent Combier, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge AC, Rhone Valley, France.
While 2011 is not as desirable as 2009 and 2010, it can throw a few surprises, and values your way, like this pretty and lively Syrah from Combier. The Domaine wines are richer and more intense, but these Laurent Combier offerings are very tasty and real bargains, they include a stylish and suave Marsanne and this 2011 Crozes Rouge. There is lots to like here with perfume, mineral tones and bright youthful fruit with plenty of acidity, all giving this ready to drink Syrah everything you’d want from a easy styled wine. The nose has violets, roses and crushed stones leading to a zesty palate of black cherry, raspberry and plum fruits along with hints of anise, fennel herbs and a touch of loamy earth while a streak of cracked pepper runs throughout. This wine finishes savory and crisp, but look for it to fill out and gain in texture over the next year and drink now through 2015.
($20 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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