2006 M. Chapoutier Crozes-Ermitage Les Varonniers (France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage)

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Crozes-Hermitage, France, Northern Rhône, Red Wine, Rhône, Syrah

This is an expensive wine, and an even more expensive Crozes-Ermitage (at $40 retail). But this Varonniers more than delivers both as a Crozes-Ermitage, as well as a Northern Rhone wine. It’s a packed wine that delivers perfect balance from when the bottle is first opened until it’s finished 3 days later. There’s good extraction (but not overblown at all), juicy acidity, explosive dark fruit and briny black olive paste, good earthiness, meatiness, and even some fine minerality. Laser focused fruit and precise on the palate. At $40, this is a steal as it is not just a top Crozes-Ermitage, but also a very fine Northern Rhone Syrah that can go head to head with many an Hermitage. Highly recommended.

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I am not a professional wine taster, nor do I have any professional training in the wine trade. I am a wine enthusiast who has spent countless hours tasting wines of many different styles. My palate is not aligned with a single wine critic, and I call all wines "as I taste them". My site is a source of tasting notes and wine recommendations as well as warnings without conflict of interest. You'll just have to figure out how your palate aligns with mine. My palate generally tends to veer towards Old-World wines that put a premium on terroir and lovely balance and finesse, rather than raw power...please keep that in mind as you read my notes.

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