North by South

A little label side-by-side today, which is always interesting–and it helps me through a nearly catastrophic backlog of experiments. Le Guy de Puy, both 2016, a Rasteau and a Crozes. So a little Grenache and a straight Syrah.

Rasteau: dark ruddy ruby in the glass, you can’t see through it and it only becomes transparent in the last little bit of edge. Massive barnyard and sharp pie-cherry which breathes out to dark dog-park earth and grass with cacao, blood orange–like, blood orange that needs to be thrown away–and vegetal with blackberry hiding underneath it all.Rich and concentrated in the mouth, a piercing rusty nail is arguably detracting or complimentary, depending on your stance on licking steel. Sharp and vibrant, not a slutty piece of Grenache fruit ANYWHERE, ridiculous Cal-Trans roadside chopped brush pops up late-middle, and the steel goes all galvanized and direct mineral-acid on your tongue as crazy smoky tannins pile on.

Quite a mouthful of a wine, and at a fairly steep discount here in CA, worth EVERY PENNY. That 20% Syrah really shines and I can’t wait to try the pure stuff. I am also going tomorrow to buy some more.

Crozes-Hermitage: This is a lighter wine in the glass. Go figure. In America, it would of course be the opposite, with the Grenache clear and transparent and the Syrah impenetrable. But I can totally see through this wine. The ruby is purple here instead of garnet, of course. Big toasty vanilla oak in the nose. Well, THERE’S A SHOCKER. Beautiful creamy oak, breathing out quite fast, but laying down the groundwork for a nice cassis acid under the fruit, which is all plum and blueberry and Pepsi–earth headed out solidly towards mint and euc. Blind? I might think this a Rutherford cab! Blind is where we say embarrassing things, and I might just say that.

Clean plum and blueberry in the mouth, an aggressive acid and chalk-steel. Beautiful thin cherry with a hibiscus base driving hedonistic asphalt and acid onto the tongue. Everything you want in a Syrah is here. Old World to a tee but ripe and fresh, I’m thinking the No-Rhone might be a full point lower in AL than the South. Both gorgeous wines, I’m going to find a few more tomorrow. I can’t decide which one I like better. Typically, the Northern. But oh man is that GSM good.

2016 LA FONT du PUY Rasteau GSM 70/20/10 Rhone France 14.5
2016 LA FONT du PUY Crozes-Hermitage Syrah Rhone France 13.5

wine1er.com/rhone

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