The Northern Rhone

2016 Rousset Crozes Hermitage Picaudieres

The Northern half of the Rhone river valley, stretching from just south of Lyon down to St Peray south of Hermitage, is the home of Syrah, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier. The relatively cooler continental climate coupled with the steep stony slopes of its noblest appellations offer a complexity and savoriness that is not found in any other Syrah based growing area in the world. Its white wines also offer unrivaled quality and singular character. Its most celebrated appellations: Cote Rotie, Hermitage, St Joseph, Condrieu, and Cornas.

Price: $30.00

This is what I would dub the flagship bottling of the estate, from the steep and secluded oasis known as les Picaudières. In 2016, it is once again a knockout success in precision, poise, and muscly 100+ year old vine depth, representing the very best of the finessed and moderate 2016 vintage. This could serve as an exhibit A of Northern Rhone Syrah classicism, and I have every confidence that this will be a long lived and tremendous bottle to follow. Its commanding palate presence is built on its other-than-fruit stuffing, the old vine substance is undeniably driving the show. This is, alongside the 2015, as good as it gets. I posit that the combo of 2015 and 2016 will be looked upon simliarly to the legendary 1990/1991 combination. Do not pass this up.....BRAVO STÉPHANE! A little * awarded here.

"Deep ruby. Expressive red and blue fruit, cola and Indian spice aromas, joined by a sexy potpourri quality as the wine opens up. Sweet, energetic blueberry and cherry flavors show excellent clarity and spicy lift, picking up a smoky mineral nuance on the back half. Delivers a serious punch of sappy dark fruit but comes off surprisingly lithe and finishes with impressive, mineral-driven persistence." 92 Josh Raynolds

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This is what I would dub the flagship bottling of the estate, from the steep and secluded oasis known as les Picaudières. In 2016, it is once again a knockout success in precision, poise, and muscly 100+ year old vine depth, representing the very best of the finessed and moderate 2016 vintage. This could serve as an exhibit A of Northern Rhone Syrah classicism, and I have every confidence that this will be a long lived and tremendous bottle to follow. Its commanding palate presence is built on its other-than-fruit stuffing, the old vine substance is undeniably driving the show. This is, alongside the 2015, as good as it gets. I posit that the combo of 2015 and 2016 will be looked upon simliarly to the legendary 1990/1991 combination. Do not pass this up…..BRAVO STÉPHANE! A little * awarded here.

“Deep ruby. Expressive red and blue fruit, cola and Indian spice aromas, joined by a sexy potpourri quality as the wine opens up. Sweet, energetic blueberry and cherry flavors show excellent clarity and spicy lift, picking up a smoky mineral nuance on the back half. Delivers a serious punch of sappy dark fruit but comes off surprisingly lithe and finishes with impressive, mineral-driven persistence.” 92 Josh Raynolds