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2001 Domaine Michel and Stephane Ogier Cote-Rotie Lancement
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96 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - January/February 2005

($140) Saturated ruby-red. Knockout nose combines black fruits, black pepper, tar, roast coffee, bitter chocolate, mocha and brown spices. Then peppery and dense in the mouth, with uncanny verve for a wine with such a velvety texture and compelling sweetness. A wine of great finesse and nuance, but also distinctly large-scaled for an example from the Cote Blonde. Extremely broad and long on the back end, with lingering notes of roasted herbs and tapenade and a peppery quality to its tannins. Great syrah. I'd love to stick this wine in a blind tasting with the most sought-after cult shirazes from Australia This wine would have the sheer density to compete even with Aussie examples at 16% alcohol, and in terms of energy, primary fruit character and complexity of soil tones, this would leave the Australian wines in its dust.

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About the Rhone Valley

Along with Bordeaux and Burgundy, Rhone Valley wines are some of the world's greatest red wines. But keep in mind that the Rhone Valley is really two distinct regions. The Northern Rhone produces powerful, aromatically complex ...
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While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape...
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