2020 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage les Varonnieres

Syrah - 750ML
Reg: $79.94
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VN 96 JD 95 DC 94 WA 94 WS 93
VN 96

Vinous, December 2022

(VN 94-96 points) Inky violet. A wild, smoke- and spice-accented bouquet evokes kirsch, cassis, smoked meat, olive and succulent herbs, with mineral and floral notes emerging as the wine opens up. Firm, sharply etched...
JD 95

jebdunnuck.com, December 2022

Lastly, the 2020 Crozes Ermitage Les Varonniers comes from a cooler, granite terroir just beside Hermitage. All destemmed Syrah brought up in 20% new French oak, it's slightly tight and closed aromatically yet has solid...
DC 94

Decanter, June 2021

Graphite, plum and blackberry. Beautifully silky, has a good sense of fluidity but also remarkable intensity and concentration. Energy and drive, with deep fruit and sweet tannins. Has a mineral straightness that helps to...
WA 94

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, January 2022

(WA 92-94 points) Sourced from a west-facing granite slope, the 2020 Crozes Hermitage les Varonniers shows excellent concentration and ripeness, yet it never goes overboard. Violets, blueberries and cassis appear on the...
WS 93

Wine Spectator, January 2024

A smoky, brooding, dark wine, with an appealing range of chewy fruit flavors and intense graphite power. Delivers layers of dark fig and mocha notes flecked with singed lavender and violet. Reveals tannic grip that reins...


Color & Type Red
Varietal Syrah
Country France
Region Rhone
Sub-region Northern Rhone
Appellation Crozes Hermitage
Vintage 2020
Size 750ML
Percent alcohol 13.5%
Closure Cork

Chapoutier is one of the oldest wine producers in the Rhone Valley with a history dating back to 1808. A distant ancestor, Polydor Chapoutier, was the first to buy vines here, shifting from being a simple grape grower to making and trading his own wine. For the last two hundred years, the estate has been producing some of the greatest wines in the Rhone Valley. Today, the range also includes wines from some Roussillon appellations as well as projects in Portugal and Australia.

Under Michel Chapoutier’s leadership, quality improved and Chapoutier gained international recognition. The massive negociant and winery produces single-vineyard expressions and classic wines from a range of appellations in the north and south of the valley.

They have adopted biodynamic farming techniques and have included Braille markings on their labels since 1996. This was done from a desire to reach out to and include lovers of good wines with sight-impairments, and as a tribute to Maurice Monier of La Sizeranne, a member of the family that previously owned the vines of the same name and who invented the first abbreviated version of Braille.

To create Chapoutier’s “Varonniers” Syrah, the estate has chosen their oldest Crozes-Hermitage vines (more than 60 years old on average). The color is a deep garnet red. It has very ripe red fruits on the nose, blackcurrant, raspberry and liquorice. The wine has ample and solid vanilla and jam on the finish. Depending on the vintage, this wine can be kept from 30 to 60 years or from 50 to 75 years.

The 2020 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage les Varonnieres is an exceptional wine that showcases the true essence of the Syrah varietal. Hailing from the renowned Rhone region in France, specifically the sub-region of Northern Rhone and the appellation of Crozes Hermitage, this red wine is a testament to the terroir and expertise of the producer, Chapoutier.

In the glass, the wine displays a deep, intense red color, enticing the senses from the get-go. On the nose, it reveals a captivating bouquet of graphite, plum, and blackberry, all intertwined with delicate nuances of violets, blueberries, and cassis. The aromas are incredibly inviting and speak to the wine's quality and complexity.

On the palate, the 2020 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage les Varonnieres truly shines. It is beautifully silky, demonstrating a remarkable sense of fluidity that glides effortlessly across the palate. Despite its smooth texture, the wine possesses an impressive intensity and concentration that command attention. The deep fruit flavors are complemented by the presence of sweet tannins, creating a harmonious balance that lingers on the palate.

What sets this wine apart is its mineral straightness, which adds a layer of depth and complexity. It tempers the ripe fruit and tannins, preventing the wine from becoming overly opulent. While the alcohol is quite raised, it remains well-balanced and integrated, adding to the wine's overall structure.

Renowned critics have praised the 2020 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage les Varonnieres. Decanter awarded it a score of 94, highlighting its energy, drive, and serious style. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate also bestowed a score of 94, noting its concentration, elegance, and surprising level of refinement. Jeb Dunnuck was even more impressed, rating it 95 and describing it as a ripe, powerful, and structured wine with immense aging potential. Vinous awarded it an impressive score of 96, highlighting its complex bouquet, precise flavors, and gripping tannins.

Overall, the 2020 Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage les Varonnieres is a wine of exceptional quality and character. It exemplifies the best of Northern Rhone Syrah, offering a memorable sensory experience that is sure to delight wine enthusiasts. Whether enjoyed now or cellared for further development, this wine is a true gem that showcases the artistry and passion of the producer.