2016 Ferraton Père et Fils "Les Dionnieres" Ermitage Rouge (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1347927 93-96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Inky colored, the 2016 Ermitage Les Dionnières offers classic Hermitage notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, violets and toasted spice. It shows more minerality with time in the glass, is deep, rich and concentrated on the palate, has plenty of tannin, and a great finish. This is terrific, but unfortunately, there are only 125 cases produced.  (1/2018)

93-95 points Vinous

 Vivid purple. Pungent cherry liqueur, black currant, olive paste and candied violet aromas are complemented by suggestions of peppery spices, mocha and smoky minerals. Plush and expansive on the palate, offering intense black and blue fruit preserve flavors and a sexy floral pastille quality that gains strength with air. Impressively concentrated yet lively and precise as well, finishing with solid dark fruit thrust, rounded tannins and excellent, mineral-driven persistence. (JR)  (6/2018)

94 points Decanter

 A very appealing nose, with intense, expressive and lively dark fruits among woodsmoke and herbs. It's a very full, large-scale Hermitage, expansive in the mouth and very tannic with a very long finish, but crucially, although dry and savoury, it's also ripe. This will take time for the tannins to soften. (MW)  (10/2017)

91-93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The supple, full-bodied 2016 Ermitage Les Dionnières looks awfully sexy and approachable for a young Hermitage. Cedar, vanilla and mocha shadings add interest to ripe notes of grilled meat, black olives and dark chocolate. In the interest of saving time, I tasted these wines during my visit to Chapoutier, although Ferraton is run independently, with its own winemaking team and facility. Despite being under Chapoutier ownership since 2004, the style of wine and fruit sourcing tends to be quite different, as can be seen in the accompanying reviews. (JC)  (12/2017)

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Price: $79.99

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.
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