We've just gotten in an exciting new wine from one of our favorite importers Louis Dressner: Texier Cote du Rhone 'St. Julien en St. Alban' 2012 $16.99. This is far from your typical Cote-du-Rhone. It is made up with all Syrah, where most CdR's are blends. The self taught winemaker/owner Eric Texier apprenticed in Burgundy so Pinot Noir comes to mind when you taste his wines. They are often more aromatic and slightly lighter than you might expect from the grapes he works with. This wine has a lovely violet nose with perhaps a whiff of bacon fat, white pepper and smoke.
The world's most influential wine critic Robert Parker is said to have informed Eric that he would no longer review his wines because he didn't understand them. Eric was rather pleased with this. He speaks his mind even if it is against his own interests. Eric also makes a Chateauneuf-du-Pape but says that he hasn't liked that wine in a decade because the region has become so warm over the years which he attributes to climate change. The only reason he still makes the CdP is because he was an outstanding contract with the vineyard owner and when it expires he is not likely to renew. So I've spoke about Terroir in the previous post. Many people believe that a wine cannot speak of the place it comes from if it is not made with indigenous yeast. Most wine brands are made with yeast that comes from a factory which imparts certain flavors to the wine. That is in direct opposition to letting a wine's potential Terroir to show. Seek out wines from importers like Kermit Lynch and Louis Dressner, both of whom work almost exclusively with winemakers who take a more natural approach.
[Photo from importer's website by Jarred Gild]