2014 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage 'Les Varonniers'
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
JJB: $37.94 Online Avg. $70
"I always think of this cuvée as a mini-Hermitage (sometimes not so mini)...It’s a classic, balanced effort..." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Here's an extraordinary sub-$40 value from one of the finest producers of Syrah in the world. While Chapoutier’s track record for success (dozens of 100-point scores, including in 2014) means his wine is rarely in the value category, we've got this today for easily the lowest price around and with a massive discount off the national average.
The praise for Chapoutier’s ‘Varonniers’ over the years is phenomenal. Parker has alluded to it being "one of the greatest wines made in the appellation." In fact, he has gone on to say that the ‘Varonniers’ "could easily be mistaken for a top Hermitage" as it is as "good as, if not better than, most other producers' Hermitage."
Coming from a plot of old-vines (60+ years old) just to the west of Hermitage’s famed Bessards lieu-dit, Les Varonniers is Chapoutier’s top expression of Croze-Hermitage, using 100% Syrah from their oldest vines in the region. The 2014 combines exceptional Syrah perfume of berries, spice, and crushed rock with the dense, sappy texture you typically would find in a Hermitage.
Robert Parker has said “Chapoutier's top cuvees are consistently among the world's greatest wines” calling Michel Chapoutier a “revolutionary” while Jeb Dunnuck has praised his single vineyard wines as “among the world’s greatest.” At over 45% off the national average, this opportunity to make a Chapoutier Syrah a mid-week wine is a contender for one of the best deals of the year. Cheers!