Natacha Chave "Aléofane" Crozes Hermitage Rouge 2018
Syrah｜Rhône Valley, France
On a cold, wintry night what do you grab? Within reach should be juicy, intoxicatingly aromatic Syrah like this gem from Natacha Chave. She's as close to Rhône wine royalty as it gets. The daughter of the esteemed Bernard Chave, both she and her brother Yann Chave come from a multi-generational winemaking family associated with some of the finest Syrah in France, and perhaps the world.
After a getting a Masters degree, she returned to her roots to run her own domaine in Crozes Hermitage. "Aléofane" comes from the fictional island of a John Macmillan Brown novel, where fermented drinks are as rare as gold and coveted for their healing properties.
This wine is Syrah lovers. Take in the beautifully exotic spice, wild flora aromas, violet candy, mocha-covered blueberry, cracked pepper, and concentrated blue and black fruits exploding out of the glass. If there were ever a liquid embodiment of the color purple, this would be it!
I'm a devout evangelist of classic, naturally-made wine. That said, the term "natural" gets thrown around a lot and quite often implies severe funky aromas and what looks like milky kombucha in the glass. This doesn't need to be the case, however – it's possible to enjoy so-called natural wine and still have it taste like a classic. That's what this is – honestly-made Rhône Syrah that's aromatic, gorgeously perfumed, and pitch perfect. Natural yeasts. Biodynamic/organic farming. Long, slow fermentation in large, old barrel. Layers of flavor and nuance with a plush, pure finish from the unrivaled spiritual home of Syrah.
And this is a very rare bottling – fewer than 50 cases were imported into the U.S. Enjoy!