1996 Crozes Hermitage Les Varonniers


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Bt (75cl)
0 immediate, 11 marketplace

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Average Score 92.0

A beautiful showing from what's certainly one of the top examples of this appellation, the 1996 Crozes Hermitage les Varonniers is 100% Syrah that comes from a cool, pure granite terroir located just behind Hermitage Hill. Its deep ruby color is followed by terrific Granite-induced aromas of damp earth, crushed rocks, smoke and hints of meatiness. Medium to full-bodied, rich, nicely concentrated and balanced, it’s fully mature, yet should easily keep for another decade. This has to easily be one of the most impressive, age-worthy Crozes Hermitage made today.

This 20-year retrospective was a chance to look at the 1996s, as well as a few 1995s, from Michel Chapoutier. Looking at the 1996 vintage, this was a cooler, late vintage that favored those with patience; these releases from Chapoutier are fresh and lively, with good concentration and beautiful, granite influenced characters. They’re in direct opposition to his larger, more concentrated and decadently styled 1995s, which are from a warmer vintage. The 1995s don't have the same purity or granite feel, but they have more flesh and texture. All of these wines are mature, yet they have plenty of life ahead as well. All of these wines were tasted in the spring of 2016. Jun 2016,, Drink: 2000-2026
It is hard to find a better Crozes-Hermitage than Chapoutier's single-vineyard Les Varonniers. Because of its high acidity, the 1996 Crozes-Hermitage Les Varonnieres has gone into a closed, tightly-knit stage. Nevertheless, the saturated dark ruby/purple color and gorgeous nose of smoked meats, blackberries, kirsch, and anise are impressive. The wine is medium to full-bodied and highly-extracted, but the vintage's high acidity causes it to be tight and firm. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2020. Importer: Paterno Imports, Lake Bluff, IL; tel. (847) 604-8900|| Wine Advocate.February, 1999

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