2009 Yves Cuilleron, Saint-Joseph “Les Pierres Seches” Norther Rhone Red, France. (Syrah)
Cuilleron is a Syrah master, and does a fabulous Condrieu as well, and this 2009 Saint-Joseph is stunner with pure terroir character and savory charms. This wine shows the place and vintage in perfect fashion, and tastes like a fine Hermitage with a meaty, gamey subtlety while beautiful floral fruit flows on the medium weight and lively palate that shows fine details and mineral tones. The nose starts with violets, smoke and wild herbs plus a touch of duck fat and liqueur before a cascade of blackberry, blueberry, plum and boysenberry fruit fills the mouth. There is a nice cracked pepper essence that pops through along with garrique, lavender and licorice. With nice acidity and vigor this wine should get better over the next few years, but it is really good now showing lovely balance, fruit and length, a pure Syrah at it’s best.
($N/A Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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