I’ve been excited to try another Côte-Rôtie for a while now and when I found a decently priced one at a very nice wine store called Weimax in Burlingame I had to pull the trigger. The words, Kermit Lynch Blend, below the label also intrigued me. More about that later.
On first opening, this wine was nice but had a little too much barnyard on the nose. It wasn’t bad just not as good as I had hoped — at first. I enjoyed a glass and left it out on the counter for the night. The next day it was exactly the wine I’d hoped for and more. The nose was very floral with accents of anise and dried cherries. The palate was elegant with nice puckery acidity and not-too-intense tannins (although they are definitely there). After a day open, it’s a beautiful wine and another testament to the potential for elegance that Syrah has when its made in the cool-climate that it so deserves.
“Les Roses” is a blend from vineyards in the Côte-Rôtie which Louis Barruol sources for his Saint Cosme label. American importer Kermit Lynch shows up and together they choose a blend that satisfies Lynch’s aesthetic. Lynch’s blends are a way for him to articulate some of his ideas about how wine should be made. Lynch believes that wine should be unfined, unfiltered, and aged in neutral oak. Such is the case with this Syrah and I definitely approve.
It’s fascinating that Lynch and his American palate can go to France and create cuvees or assemblages that represent a style that is so opposite to what the wine world has deemed to be high quality wine over the past ten years. Lynch has stuck to his guns through the years and as the pendulum swings back towards wines that speak more of place and less of new oak and technical expertise, his style is making a comeback. I look forward to making my acquaintance with more of Lynch’s blends and, of course, more wines from Côte-Rôtie.