As close a facsimile of Hermitage as you're likely to find in Crozes, Belle's 2017 Crozes Hermitage Roche Pierre comes from old vines planted on decomposing granite, then matured in 30% new oak for two years. Cedary hints of pencil shavings accent cassis and black cherry on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is richly concentrated and tannic yet finishes long and crisp. (JC) 93-96+
Brought up in 30% new French oak, the 2017 Crozes-Hermitage Roche Pierre is also brilliant, with the exuberant, forward, sexy style of the vintage. Christmas spice, forest floor, new leather, dried herbs, and assorted darker berry fruits all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, balanced, mineral-laced Syrah that has plenty of tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It's another rocking wine from this estate that readers should snatch up.
Inky, bright-rimmed ruby. A deeply perfumed bouquet evokes ripe black and blue fruits, cola, vanilla and spicecake. Concentrated blueberry and floral pastille flavors show fine delineation and vibrancy, and a spine of juicy acidity contributes structure. Smoothly blends richness and energy and finishes very long and sweet, with fine-grained tannins coming in late. One-third new oak. (JR)
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