Domaine Georges Vernay, "Blonde du Seigneur" Côte-Rôtie 2016

Syrah|Rhône Valley, France

Ahh, Côte-Rôtie – the “Roasted Slope” – in the Rhône Valley, hands-down the most classic region and the spiritual home of the noble Syrah grape. Every Syrah producer from every corner of the wine world aspires to the paradigm that Côte-Rôtie and its northern-Rhône neighbors have set.

And this is not just any ordinary Côte-Rôtie. This is Christine Vernay’s cherished “Blonde du Seigneur,” plucked from those magical, vertigo-inducing slopes of Côte-Rôtie hugging the banks of the Rhône river. Vines have grown along these terraced riverbanks since the time of the Greeks, 600 years B.C.

A traditional blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier, the grapes are painstakingly picked by hand – no machine can access these vertiginous terraces. The wine spends 18 months in oak barrel, slowly developing all the smoky, mineral complexity her wines are known for.

A little secret: we’ve been holding this back for over a year now. When we tasted it in 2020 we found it still too tightly wound, compact, in need of more time in bottle. It’s just now starting to unfold its myriad flavors, full of nuance and grace. One finds perfume in the form of jasmine, hibiscus, and violets; fruit in the form of juicy raspberry, wild blueberry, and succulent cassis; and earthiness in the form of graphite, smoky minerals, cracked pepper, meaty olives, and campfire. Every sniff reveals new contours. Truly magical stuff, with plenty of gas left in the tank!

Named after Georges Vernay, the domaine is run today by Christine Vernay, his daughter, the third generation to run this historically important estate, continuing a legacy crafting some of the finest wine in the Rhône valley. You may recognize Georges Vernay as the father of Condrieu – he was instrumental in saving Viognier from the brink of extinction in the Rhône and, in fact, the world. The boundaries of the region were drawn out in 1940 thanks to the Vernay family’s work, whose effects ripple across the wine world today.

This rare, collectible cuvée is extremely limited – only a handful of connected specialists (ahem, like us!) gain access to this classic Syrah. Find this elsewhere for as much $100/bottle! As always, we strive to bring you the finest, limited, thought-provoking and historical wines at great value, no matter the price tag. We can easily say this is one of the most outstanding values of the year. Stock up now and watch it appreciate in complexity and price for another 15-20 years for sure. Cheers!

  • $75.00

Free shipping on four bottles