2017 Domaine Jamet Syrah Collines Rhodanienne IGP

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 90
Jeb Dunnuck: 87
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
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"The 2017 IGP Collines Rhodanienne Syrah comes from a parcel grown on mica schist near the winery and a parcel on the plateau de Condrieu grown on granite. Unlike most of the reds here, it's destemmed. The wine then spends eight to ten months in used barrels (10-15 years old) prior to bottling. Scents of struck flint and crushed stone accent raspberry fruit on the nose, while the medium-bodied palate (the wine is only 12.5% alcohol) is supple. It finishes silky and bright, a sort of mini Côte Rôtie for early drinking.

There are few visits I look forward to more than tasting with Jean-Paul Jamet at his cellars above Côte Rôtie. Even though he and Jean Luc split the family domaine several years ago, he still has 25 parcels in 19 lieux-dits, making barrel tasting here particularly educational. There's very little new oak in the cellar, and a high proportion of whole clusters for the Côte Rôtie (95% is the figure Jamet likes to cite). Bottling doesn't occur until after the harvest, so the 2016s were still in barrel at the time of my visit. Jamet said it's a vintage of "less sun, but well balanced and elegant, if less rich." It's certainly more approachable than the blockbuster 2015s, which are reviewed out of bottle. The 2017s, according to Jamet, will be a good compromise between the precociousness of the 2016s and the hardness of the 2015s. Of the 2015, said Jamet, "It's a year that needs a lot of time." For folks looking for lower prices and more immediate gratification, don't overlook Jamet's IGP Collines Rhodanienne and Côte du Rhône offerings, which offer a taste of Côte Rôtie without the same outlay of time or money." (WA)

"Leading off the reds and bottled in the beginning of August, the 2017 IGP Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah could be thought of as a baby Côte Rôtie with its pretty red fruits (some black), peppery herbs, and bacon fat aromas and flavors. It’s soft, elegant, and balanced, and would be an awesome bistro wine. One of the greatest estates for Syrah in the world is unquestionably that of Jean-Paul and Corinne Jamet, who have a tiny cellar located above the town of Ampuis, in the heart of Côte Rôtie. Despite being a bastion of classic Côte Rôtie, Jean-Paul is far from dogmatic, and his cellar is clean and efficient, and the singular nature of these wines comes more from the complex terroirs of the estate than any winemaking technique or cellar influence. The wines are not destemmed and aged in roughly 20% new demi-muids and are bottled unfined and unfiltered. Looking at the vintages reviewed here, both 2016 and 2017 are terrific, with the nod going to the 2017s. Jean-Paul finds the 2017s almost too much at this point, which is exactly how he felt about his 1991s in barrel, and those wines are some of the greatest Syrahs ever made. I’ll most likely review the 2017s from barrel again next year, but don’t miss a chance to buy what are destined to become legendary wines. In contrast, the 2016s are more elegant and classical Jamet, with more cool-climate aromatics and seamless, concentrated profiles on the palate. These are pure, classic Jamet Côte Rôtie that will benefit from short-term cellaring and drink well for 2+ decades. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to taste the 2015s from bottle, but I’ll do my best to source those locally." (JD)

Winery Notes:
IGP Syrah:
• Blend of 3 parcels: 1) young-vine Côte Rôtie, 2) mica schist terroir on plateau next to domaine and outside of Côte Rôtie appellation, 3) plateau above Condrieu
• Grapes are 90% de-stemmed
• Aged 11 months in older barrique (10-20 years old)