Winemaker: Denis Basset is a charming, energetic, fast talking young winemaker with a knack for channeling his terroir. His organic cuvées from Crozes-Hermitage are popular in Parisian restaurants, and it’s easy to see why — they’re balanced, honest, refreshing, and focused.
Appellation: Crozes-Hermitage is near the southern end of the Northern Rhône Valley. Forever in the shadow – literally and figuratively – of the great hill of Hermitage, its pure-sryah cuvées offer earlier drinking windows and friendlier pricetags.
Wine: Basset’s 2016 Crozes-Hermitage “Etincelle” is at once dark and soaring. The fruit is intense, sinewy, and full of blackberry jam and spice. But the mouthfeel is vibrant and delicate; Decanter awarded 91 points, calling it “fresh-faced” and “piercing.”
Pairing: Go with meat for this cuvée — short ribs or lamb. Or for the herbivores in your family, a hard sheep cheese on crackers.
St-Clair Crozes-Hermitage “Etincelle” 2016
bottle price: $25
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