Francois Merlin Cote Rotie 2017Smoky, intense, aromatic, lush
Syrah at its truest self is sometimes a polarizing grape. It's got attitude. Cabernet and Merlot are perfectly fine–they drive sensible sedans and SUVs, and get you from point A to point B, or sometimes they do it in a vintage Cadillac with nice leather seats. Syrah pulls up in a 1978 Chevy van with flames painted on the side, smoke pouring out of the windows, and Black Sabbath blaring out of the speakers.* Get in loser, we're going wine tasting.
I guess that's why I like this wine so much: it's soulful and abrasive and powerful, but it still wants to be your friend. Syrah like this can be revelatory, and to find good Côte-Rôtie for under $50 a bottle is actually pretty hard. I recommend you stock up on this one. It's ready to drink and will only get better.
This Côte-Rôtie finely balances smoke, earth, fruit and floral aromatics. It has the classic core of blackberries, creosote, and olive tapenade, but also gorgeous herbal notes of rosemary and singed thyme.
This wine begs for food. We just smoked a leg of lamb and it was a downright perfect pairing. It'd also be quite at home with olive tapenade-rubbed pork loin roast, grilled asparagus, or delicious smash burgers. When you have a wine with such brilliant smoky notes, anything cooked over smoke or fire is an amazing pairing.
- Blend100% Syrah