2012 Bernard Faurie, Saint-Joseph, Rhone Red, France.
The Bernard Faurie Hermitage wines are cult-like legends, rare and coveted, these are handcrafted wines from 100 year old plots in some of Syrah’s greatest terroir and vineyards, like Meal and Bessards on Hermitage hill, Syrah’s holy mecca. Besides those amazing Hermitage wines, he has a small holding in Saint-Joseph, and this wine is the one to find, it is open knit, beautiful, and full of glorious fruit, mineral, spice and refined tannins, a wonderful and as pure as pure gets Syrah. Grown on loamy hillsides and with a granite base, the Saint-Joseph is like a mini Cote-Rotie, but 100% Syrah and is handcrafted using whole cluster, foot stomped extraction, in old wood vats with fermentation occurring natural with native yeasts then aged in neutral cask for between 18 and 36 months. These are small lot old school wines, and while very traditional they are not rustic or rough, these are highly detailed and polished wines that are fruit forward and graceful. The 2012 Saint-Joseph is plush on the palate, dark and purple/black hued with a nose that excites with dark fruit, violets, pepper and mineral, in the mouth the layers unfold with boysenberry, blueberry compote, plum and black cherry fruits along with peppercorn, a hint of olive and salted black licorice, I was surprised at the silky tannins and the shear elegance to be found in this young and whole cluster Syrah, this is very hedonistic and stylish Saint-Joseph that has much more to come in the future, but is delicious now, the finish is pure with hints of game, earth, sweet creme de cassis and lavender/garrigue. Amazing fruit density without being heavy, the 2012 Bernard Faurie is about 13%, and it has plenty of well integrated acidity, almost juicy, but richly textured, drink from 2015 to 2020.
($60 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive
avail at www.sfwtc.com