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2012 Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot
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92-94 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - March/April 2014

Tasted from different barrels:  #1:  High-pitched, distinctly spicy red fruits on the nose and palate.  Vaguely pinot-like in its relative delicacy and focus.  Fine-grained tannins add gentle grip to the long, spice-dominated finish.  #2:  Ripe cherry and candied plum scents show good ripeness and a hint of licorice.  Offers bitter cherry and anise flavors and chewy texture.  Closes with solid grip, an echo of cherry pit and good sweet persistence.  #3:  Aromas of black and blue fruits and incense.  The most exotic of these four barrels and the most densely packed, with intense blueberry and cassis flavors and a touch of minerality adding lift and bite.  #4:  Emphatic, smoke-laced dark berry and cherry-cola aromas, with suggestions of smoky minerals, licorice pastille and cracked pepper.  Supple, expansive dark berry compote flavors are deep but lively and appealingly sweet.  Velvety tannins come on late and fold smoothly into the ripe berry fruit on the strikingly long, mineral-driven finish.

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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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