Ogier Caves des Papes Crozes-Hermitage Comte de Raybois 2009

Another red wine, another Ogier. Crozes-Hermitage lies in the northern part of the Rhône wine region and has a continental climate. Nearest town being Tournon-sûr-Rhône, where Châteauneuf-du-Pape is located more to the south near the town of Avignon, which has a mediterranean climate.

Where the previous Ogier was a Châteauneuf-du-Pape made with four grape varieties, this Crozes-Hermitage is a 100% pure Syrah. That in itself is a no-brainer since Syrah is the only red grape allowed for this appellation, or isn’t it? Strange enough two white grape varieties are allowed for use in the red wines (up to 15%). These are: Marsanne and Rousanne. Since this wine is all Syrah and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blended wine of four grape varieties, I expect this wine to be rather different, albeit a Rhône wine. Syrah is a ballsy grape variety, which usually adds black and blue fruit flavors, chocolate and pepper, but knowing Ogier, this example might be lighter in style than its colleagues…

Color: Deep dark, very dark, red.

Nose: Vanilla and clotted cream. Somewhat closed, smells like a cold wine. Smallest hint of fish. (Should I be writing this? Don’t worry it’s inoffensive). After holding it in my hand, swirling it a bit, an explosion of aroma’s. Nice rich typical Syrah, warming. Hot stones. Spicy yet supple (yes still writing about the smell of it, and it smells, well…, supple). A little bit of dry but fresh uncut grass, and field flowers with strawberry jam. Nice dark fruits emerge from the jam. Nice stuff this, quite complex and interesting.

Taste: This has some more tannins than the Châteauneuf-du-Pape I reviewed last. It dries the tongue and it is a bit austere. It has the, by now typical,  Ogier lightness to it. Syrah can be very heavy, but this Syrah just isn’t. I just poured it, it is light with a light finish and a nice acidity counteracted with some butter. With some breathing it should get better. It’s a bit like Metallica played by a Finnish string quartet. After some breathing and even taking big gulps, the wine actually doesn’t get any “heavier” It just is a lighter style of Syrah, which compared to the nose, is quite simple and easy.

No pepper nor chocolate for me, so this one should be aged further in the bottle, to get the pepper out. Syrah without this most probably is young and needs more time. Leave it alone for at least five years again, but in my opinion it should age even longer than that.

Points: 84


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