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2011 La Rosine Syrah, Vin de Pays, Domaine Michel et Stéphane Ogier
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Michel Ogier is a relative newcomer to the top ranks of the wine-making world: up until 1980 he sold his entire crop, on the vine, to Messrs Chapoutier and Guigal. Since then, he has invested an enormous amount of time and capital in his well-situated 2½ hectare vineyard and now, handed over to his ambitious and likeable son, Stèphane.
The wines themselves are not the huge, structured beasts typical of some other Côte Rôtie producers. They tend more towards a silky elegance with soft, subtle tannins. However, they retain that incredible ability to age that is synonymous with the best Côte Rôtie.
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.
Vin de Pays des Comtés Rhodaniens is a Vin de Pays French wine appellation that encompasses vineyard area in the Rhône-Alpes region and wines from mainly Viognier, Syrah and Grenache grapes but also from Pinot Noir and Gamay as the appellations spans further to include portions of Beaujolais, Savoie and Jura.
Within the broad regional Vin de Pays appellation of Comtés Rhodaniens there are further wine classifications for specified areas including :
- Vin de Pays du Comté de Grignan
- Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l’Ardèche
- Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Baronnies
- Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Montélimar
- Vin de Pays des Gaules