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2017 J. Boutin "Les Hauts Granites" Crozes-Hermitage (Elsewhere $30)

SKU #1536154 93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark Deep, shimmering violet. Dark berries, potpourri, exotic spices and a suggestion of smoky minerals on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy, penetrating and appealingly sweet, offering densely packed, energetic blackberry, cherry compote and violet flavors that are supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Supple, even tannins add grip to the impressively persistent, mineral-driven finish, which strongly repeats the floral note. (JR) Inner quote mark (4/2020)

K&L Notes

J. Boutin is a newer project from Stephane Vedeau of Clos Bellane and La Ferme du Mont fame. Named for his mother Jeaninne Boutin, this series of wines are from the northern Rhone each a reflection of their sub-region and site. Les Hauts Granites is from two parcels, one on the in the chalk heavy region of Larnage and the other in the more granitic and loess driven Haut des Chassis. A sultry and fine Syrah, partial stem inclusion and native yeasts are used during fermentation. All wines once they finish are bottled unfined and unfiltered. C

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Price: $24.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/12/2021 | Send Email
Syrah enthusiasts take note; this is a picture-perfect Crozes-Hermitage that flat out shines. To start, the wine has all the pedigree of a much more expensive wine. Picture limestone vineyards with 60+ year old vines. There's copious amounts of fruit on the nose with mineral and spice notes galore. It's quite complex aromatically, as well as on the palate. 25% whole cluster fermentation adds a noticeable new dimension to the aromatics. Kudos to Rhône buyer Keith Mabry for sourcing this exceptionally delicious 100% Syrah that could easily sell for twice the price. I'd pair this with brisket, beef ribs, or a Santa Maria tri-tip.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/12/2021 | Send Email
I connected with winemaker Stephane Vedeau in France a few years ago via a mutual friend. We met at his home, and he whisked me away on a journey through all the Village appellations as we made his way to his winery at Clos Bellane in Valreas. He drove at a speed that I dare say made me a touch uncomfortable, and as we careened over hills and backroads that only someone who truly new the appellation could do, he explained his winemaking philosophies and his love of all things Rhône. In short, work clean but with as little intervention as possible. Some of the things I remembered from that conversation were: native yeast ferments; no sulfites until bottling; aging vessels that don't impart flavor only allow the wines to express themselves. When we arrived at the winery and the blood began to flow in my fingers again from gripping the car seats so hard, we began a tour and tasting. He slyly suggested we should try his side project, the J. Boutin wines. Named for his mother, they were all Northern Rhône, from whence she came, and he was pleased with the progress those wines were making. Across all of his projects—Clos Bellane, La Ferme du Mont, and J. Boutin—each was distinctive, but the underlying principles all remained the same. Let each parcel express itself with as little guidance as necessary. It has been a few years since my visit, but I have always followed Stephane's wines and was lucky enough to recently connect with their new importer. One of the standouts was the Hauts Granites Crozes. A sumptuous Syrah with velvety texture, black fruit, spice box aromas, floral notes, and a long lingering finish. I didn't need to grip my seat as I tasted this, but it brought back welcome memories of this great winemaker, his philosophy, and his ability to express himself and his properties through his wines.

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