Inky, “Graceful” Syrah from a Master of Côte Rôtie. $25

The wines of Côte Rôtie have been celebrated for thousands of years. They appear in the writings of Plutarch and Pliny the Elder, and today are among the favorite wines of the sommelier Instagram set. Made from pure Syrah at its northernmost growing limit, Côte Rôtie represents the grape at its most refined.

Our source for Côte Rôtie is the Domaine Bonnefond. Robert Parker calls Bonnefond’s wines “among the finest in the appellation,” and Vinous’s Josh Raynolds recently called them “as graceful a group of wines that I’ve ever sampled.” We have several of their cuvées in stock going back a few years.

But aside from their flagship Côte Rôties, the Bonnefonds also produce an exquisite and well-price IGP Syrah, from just outside the appellation. It’s as complex and polished as any $25 bottle we can think of.



Côte Rôties famously cellar well, and often require many years of patience to reach their potential. Bonnefond’s Syrah requires neither investment nor patience. At once dark, intense, and lively, it shows the meaty characteristics of Syrah, but with unusual lift and grace.

The 2017 is among our favorite vintages they’ve made of this wine. The nose is spiced and expressive, with notes of blackberries, tapenade, black pepper, and game. The mouth is beautifully balanced — at 12.5% alcohol it’s smooth and long, with dense meaty notes joining plum fruits and graceful minerality.

With its fresh fruit and peppery mouthfeel this is excellent food wine — lamb and duck are particularly nice matches. But accompaniment isn’t required — an after-work glass of this on a weekday evening will reset your mood with ease.



Bonnefond Syrah 2017
bottle price: $25

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