2018 Domaine des Chirats Rockpile Vineyard Syrah
A Yves Cuilleron Collaboration
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Each year, I feel Yves and I get closer to achieving the vision we have had for this project. I have always felt that this vineyard brings a very Hermitage aspect to the table.
The 2018 is black as night to the rim of the glass and back. Aromatics of blackberry/black cherry pie filling ooze from the glass, followed by fresh pencil shavings, brioche and savory notes of wild Herbes de Provence, and a hint of cedar. Full-bodied, but not heavy on the palate, the Rockpile minerality carries this wine from the incredibly rich and giving front palate to the exotic mid-palate that showcases black fruits, black licorice and touch of charcuterie. So rich, so intense, so elegant, and in the end, so magical.
185 cases produced. Will age effortlessly in the Cohn Zone: drink now - 2040.
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I love Syrah from Côte-Rôtie, and one of my favorite vineyards is Les Grandes Places. So, when some budwood was made available to me from this vineyard, I jumped on it.
The oldest selections of Syrah in the Northern Rhône's Côte-Rôtie are known as Serine - they are not a clone. This selection of Serine has produced a wine that is a ménage à trois of aromas and flavors that one finds only in the elegance of Côte-Rôtie, the intensity of Hermitage, and the pure essence of the Rockpile Vineyard.
When you taste this wine next to my other Rockpile Syrahs, you will taste its magic. I feel this to be one of my most complex wines. As Serine is considered the oldest Syrah, the name So Serine came to be!
Vineyard: Rockpile, sustainably farmed, vines planted in 1998
Planted at 2010-ft. elevation of granite, loam, clay, quartz, it's the heaviest, rockiest, and steepest vineyard at Rockpile. This elevation puts more stress on the vines producing thick-skinned and small berries. The granite adds a mineral backbone to the weight that the clay creates in the wine.
Vinification: 100% Syrah
The fruit is hand-picked then cold-soaked. I gently foot-stomp the fruit of which 30% is whole cluster, the rest is whole berry and de-stemmed. None is crushed. The wine goes through open-top, then 100% Malolactic fermentation and aged 18 months in large-format 30% new French oak and 70% neutral French oak barrels.
$.01 12+ 750 mL bottles
$ 15 1 - 11 750 mL bottles
$ 15 per magnum
📦 Shipping Alert: We're watching the weather. If below 30° or above 70°, we won't ground ship your wine. We recommend FedEx Priority Overnight® to protect it from extreme temperatures.
97+ Jeb Dunnuck — Coming from a collaboration between Jeff Cohn and Yves Cuilleron, the 2018 Syrah Domaine des Chirats is another dense, rich, super-intense Syrah in the lineup that has incredible complexity in its bright blueberry and cherry fruits as well as notes of violets, white pepper, sandalwood, and bouquet garni-like aromas and flavors. This full-bodied, tannic, powerhouse of a wine develops smokier, Côte Rôtie-like bacon fat as well as more and more structure as it sits in the glass. Do your best to hide bottles for 3-4 years. and it should have two decades of overall longevity.
95 The Wine Advocate, Erin Brooks — The 2018 Syrah Domaine des Chirats is a collaboration between Jeff Cohn and Yves Cuilleron. It comes from 25-year-old vines in the Rockpile vineyard and was made with 30% whole cluster and aged 18 months in 30% new French oak. Deep ruby, it takes time to blossom from iron and charcuterie to currant and violet, gaining nuance with time in the glass. The palate is mineral driven and fresher than expected, with restrained fruits and a touch of rusticity to the texture that gives it a more cool-climate feel than is typical from this site. It should develop beautifully over the next 3-5 years in bottle.