SRP of $16 and available for $10 at Costco. Imported by European Cellars.
From the importer:
“AN ERIC SOLOMON SELECTIONS CUSTOM CUVEE
Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues is a co-operative cellar in the small town of Estézargues which is located near Avignon. Les Vignerons D’Estézargues is truly unique in the wine world. All over France the co-op still plays a very important role in the production and sale of wine. Co-ops receive grapes from members and then make wine from them, this wine is made in large batches and grapes from many different vineyards are vinified together; the focus is on producing wine in quantity.
Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues takes a fundamentally different approach; starting in 1995 the ten different growers in this co-op began to vinify their wine separately and make single cuvées from their best plots. On the heels of the single cuvée evolution Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues began to practice natural winemaking. Possibly one of the only co-ops in the world to do so, Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues uses no external yeasts, no filtering, no fining and no enzymes are employed on the grapes during the winemaking process.
In 1994 Eric Solomon visited the Vignerons d’Estézargues and met a young, passionate director/winemaker named Jean-François Nicq. By the end of the day, he & Jean-François had decided on a custom bottling of old vine syrah from one of their best parcels, Andezon. This opaque-black, blockbuster Syrah could have been a top Northern Rhone wine, á la Cornas. What a find! Previously sold in bulk (vinous suicide) to a very famous producer in the Rhone Valley, Eric jumped at the opportunity and over a decade later it remains one of the core items in the Eric Solomon portfolio.
While most of the wine I purchase for this site is based on the information on the front of the label (like the producer, vintage and region) the decision to buy today’s wine was made solely based on one line of the back of the label – the importer. That importer is Eric Solomon’s European Cellars.
If you’re not familiar with Eric Solomon you might recognize one of his other wines which has been a staple on several editions of our Top 10 Reds list, the Evodia Garnacha. And just like the Evodia one of the key factors in the Andezon is that despite the $10 price tag, the grapes come from relatively old vines: 30 years old for the Syrah and 60 years old for the Grenache.
The 2012 Les Vignerons d’Estezargues Andezon Cotes du Rhone Red begins with very pleasant aromas of dark fruit, black licorice, a little smoked meat (bacon!) and a bit of cedar and graphite. The wine tastes dark and juicy and I love it. You’ll find plenty of black cherry, plum, more black licorice, oaky spice and a graphite like mineral streak in this medium-bodied Syrah. On the dry, long finish the oaky spice and minerals continue with just a hint of tobacco. This is one succulent Syrah!
Overall Rating: 8.0
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