Most of my conversations with winemakers who make wine in the New World usually come back to France. Most of the winemakers who make a cooler-climate of Syrah don’t do it for economic reasons but rather because they respect the grape in its earliest iteration from the Northern Rhone. One conversation about Syrah from the Northern Rhone with Steve Law from MacLaren Wines left me wanting to get to know Saint Joseph better. Steve kept talking about his favorite wines from that region and how they were so light in tannin and could go so well with all types of food, even fish.
Since that conversation, I’ve had a few St. Josephs, but they always seemed to have a big punch of tannins at the end. I hadn’t found one yet that really represented what Steve was talking about. Well, now I have. The Domain Habrard Syrah is very low in tannin but has a great acidity that makes it food friendly.
This wine has a nose of dust, flowers, and olive tapenade. The mid-palate is full with a backbone of acidity. There’s acidity on the finish but lighter tannins that make it a great pairing for chicken and even some rich fish dishes.
Domain Habrard is an organically farmed estate with one of those long histories of grape growing that goes back for hundreds of years. The latest caretaker of the estate is Laurent Habrard, who’s been responsible for the transition to organic farming.
This would be a great wine to try for those of you who are willing to get out of the “Syrah with barbeque” paradigm that’s being propagated by most of the wine literati out there.