Delicious Northern Rhône Syrah That’s Light on Its Feet

Today’s Story: Domaine Vincent Paris

Domaine Vincent Paris was established in 1997 with 1 hectare of inherited vines in Cornas of the northern Rhône Valley in France. Vincent studied enology for four years before working alongside his uncle, famed Cornas vigneron Robert Michel, and ultimately desired autonomy with his own wines. Vincent set about planting vines in St. Joseph and Cornas, ultimately acquiring La Geynale in 2007 and farming a total of 8 hectares today. Vincent farms 1.5 hectares of Saint Joseph, 6 of Cornas, and 0.5 of Vin de Pays with meticulous attention and refuses to use insecticide or chemical fertilizers while limiting treatments. Vincent severely prunes his vines (to only 4 bunches per vine) which helps produce concentrated, high quality berries and cuts down on green harvests. In the cellar, Vincent destems his fruit to varying levels and ferments the wines naturally after cold maceration at relatively lower temperatures. The wines spend 3 months in vats and then a year in oak barrels that are never new but rather 2-8 years old in an effort to not mask terroir, before they are ultimately bottled with light fining but no filtration.

I previously wrote about the 2017 Cornas Granit 30 from Domaine Vincent Paris, so feel free to revisit those tasting notes if you care to explore another wine from the portfolio.

Today’s Wine: 2016 Saint-Joseph Les Côtes

100% Syrah; 12.5% ABV

The 2016 Saint-Joseph Les Côtes is medium purple in color. This was another Coravin pour for me, so I simply let this open up in the glass for about 30 minutes. The aromas are of pronounced intensity, and the nose showcases notes of plum, blueberry, violet, bacon fat, scorched earth, dried garden herbs, coffee grounds, and smoke. Meanwhile the flavors are also of pronounced intensity, with the palate displaying notes of blackberry, blueberry, black plum, smoked game, sweet tobacco, dried herbs, cracked pepper, and chocolate. This dry red is light- to medium-bodied with high acidity, low tannins, medium alcohol, and a long finish. The 2016 Les Côtes doesn’t drink like your typical Syrah but it is both incredibly accessible and fun to drink.

Price: $34. I’m very impressed by the value of this wine, as the aromas and flavors are so true to variety and showcase the terroir beautifully but this is rather light on its feet. Nothing sticks out of place here, with the finesse being rather impressive for the price.

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