Great By-the-Glass at MOMA; Better By-the-Bottle at Your Home
Some of the finest wines we’ve ever tasted — 1983 J-L Chave Hermitage, 1966 Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline, 1991 Noël Verset Cornas — have been Northern Rhône Syrah. There’s something so unique and irresistible about wines from the region. Deep purple in color, they boast aromas of blackberry bush, violets, and bacon, and are full-flavored but NEVER heavy.
Perhaps our only problem with the Northern Rhône is that there isn’t enough wine to go around. The entire region is smaller than the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. Most of it stays local, to be served at the legendary culinary meccas like Paul Bocuse, La Pyramide, and Troisgros. What wine that does make it to the states gets pounced on by the wine directors at the country’s finest restaurants and vigilant, fervent collectors.
When we do come across a wine that we know our members would love, there’s always a battle to scrape together enough wine for it to make economic sense for us and for members. We routinely find ourselves jostling with the Michelin-starred restaurants who always get first crack at these gems. With today’s 2015 David Reynaud Crozes-Hermitage “Beaumont,” our nemesis was The Modern on 53rd Street, which has been pouring the wine for almost a year now. It wasn’t easy to convince the importer to peel us off a pallet… But we did. Here’s why we worked that hard.
David Reynaud farms 50 acres of vines biodynamically. He began bottling on his own in 2002; his family had previously been selling their grapes to the local co-operative in Tain l’Hermitage. The soils of his Crozes-Hermitage vineyards are clay and alluvial goose-egg stone topsoil sitting on a chalky limestone subsoil. Reynaud maintains very low yields across the domaine. In a remarkably short time, he has gained the attention of the wine press, including a 2013 visit from Wine Spectator that had James Molesworth concluding the “impressive” wines were “worth seeking out.”
This is pure, peppery, deep-purple Syrah made with no oak aging; it’s meant to be consumed on the young side. If you haven’t had your Northern Rhône epiphany yet, this will set you on the path. If you have, then the 2015 David Reynaud Crozes-Hermitage “Beaumont” will be a reminder of how great this region truly is.
Brilliant violet color with perfumed aromas of ripe red and dark berries, licorice, cracked black pepper, and incense. Dense on the palate with a chalky, mineral undertone and a juicy core of black raspberry fruit that deepens over time in the glass. Absolutely gorgeous and open for business. Drink now to 2022.
It took a bit of arm-turning and twisting with the importer to secure 50 cases for WineAccess members of the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage “Beaumont,” but all’s well that ends well. If you’re in NYC, go to Danny Meyer’s two-Michelin-starred The Modern at the Museum of Modern Art and make sure to order a glass. It’ll set you back $20. Or, hit the “Buy” button and order a bottle from the comfort of your home for just $23.99. Your call. Shipping included on 6. Today only, the perfect opportunity to taste an exceptional wine from one of the greatest regions in the world.