Inky, Concentrated, Vibrant New Northern Rhône Syrah. $22

Denis Basset's 2019 Crozes-Hermitage is a tremendous value.

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 tremendous values.

Basset is located in Crozes-Hermitage, 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 far friendlier pricetags.

Denis’s wine gets better every year, and his just-arrived 2019 is a knockout. The name “Etincelle” (sparks) refers to his near-electrocution a decade ago, an accident that caused him to quit his job and pursue his dream of winemaking.

Basset’s 2019 Crozes-Hermitage “Etincelle” is at once dark and soaring. From a hot year, there’s very dense and intense fruit laid over a sinewy structure of blackberry jam and spice. But the mouthfeel is also balanced, vibrant, and delicious. A weeknight red with far more pluck than $22 usually gets you.


Saint-Clair Crozes-Hermitage “Etincelle” 2019
bottle price: $22

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