Highly Allocated Rhône Syrah

Today’s Story: Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet (Hervé Souhaut)

Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet is a small wine estate established by Hervé Souhaut in 1993 in the Saint-Joseph AOC of northern Rhône. Souhaut farms roughly 5 hectares of vineyards with vines aged 50-100 years old and crafts his small batch wines in the cellars of his in-laws’ converted hunting lodge. In making his wine, Souhaut uses hand-harvested organic whole grape bunches and semi-carbonic maceration in an effort to achieve wines that are elegant with refined tannins and approachable in their youth. The wine ferments in wooden and concrete tanks using only natural yeasts before being aged on fine lees in used oak barrels for 8-12 months. Souhaut adds only a minimal amount of SO2 at bottling and his wines are unfiltered. With production totaling less than 4,000 cases annually and wines highly allocated, Souhaut produces Vin de Pays wines (largely Gamay, Roussanne, and Viognier) under the Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet name as well as the AOC wines under his own name.

Today’s Wine: 2017 Syrah

100% Syrah; 12.5% ABV

The 2017 Syrah is opaque medium to deep purple in color. I decanted this for 2 hours and drank it over the following 4 hours. The nose is complex and evolves over time to showcase aromas of blueberry, black plum, olive, violet, sweet tobacco, loamy earth, smoke, clove, chocolate, and light oak. On the palate, I get notes of tart blueberry, sweet and juicy plum, black cherry, purple and blue florals, black olive, scorched rocky earth, tobacco, grilled meat, and green herbs. This is full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, elegant medium tannins, and a long finish filled with jammy black fruit.

Price: $39. Excellent value for this Rhône Syrah made in a more “natural” style. Though the domaine’s production is limited and the wines highly allocated, this is worth seeking out. Pair this with lamb, herb-roasted pork, or venison.

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