When somebody asked me recently what the first wine I will be writing about in my blog the answer was easy – the Rhone Valley. Anybody that knows me or or has read my wine list will know that I have loved Rhone wines for years
from the big names in Chateuneuf de Pape to new appellations offering great value but it wasn’t until a recent trip to the Northern Rhone Valley with my family that I really got to really love and appreciate the wines from that region especially the Syrah grape. We met so many eccentric, exciting and fun winemakers from the whole area but none more so than the team at Chapoutier. All their wines are biodynamic and their philosophy is simple- respect the terroir. One of their wines which really stood out for me while having a glass with a friend recently was the Les Meysonniers Crozes-Hermitage 2011.
Les Meysonniers is 100% Syrah grown on 25 year old vines. The best Syrah in the world grows in the Northern Rhone Valley on south facing slopes which benefit from the maximum sunlight during the day. The majority of Crozes-Hermitage is on flat ground but Charputier are the only winemakers that have their vines on slopes. The top soil here is very thin made up of blending shingles and gravels so when the intense Rhone sunshine warms the hillside during the day, the granite bedrock stores the heat encouraging the grapes to ripen more fully than those on flat ground. This gives the wines a lovely fresh and round cherry flavour with attractive pepperiness finishing with stewed fruits & vanilla.
When I think of Syrah I think of summer, the ripe blackberry fruits & pepperiness goes so well with rack of lamb, beef fillet & rabbit all available on our current menu.
Keep an eye on Facebook for our Chapoutier wine dinner in September.