Vignobles Chirat Syrah Viognier 2018
1 or more bottles$24.99
Mark Faber94 points
Voted one of the Top 5 Producers by Decanter Magazine in 2018, alongside some of the most well-known producers, Domaine JL Chave and M Chapoutier.
A nose of granitic earth, smoke, garrigue herbs and blueberries. Intense palate of smoked, grilled, cured meats, ripe blueberry and plenty of green pepper notes- Very serious for a cheapie!
Father and son team Gilbert et Aurélien Chirat manage their tiny family estate. All grapes used to be sold to the Guigal family, whom they are still very close friends with. Aurelien worked in New Zealand and has brought some New World modernity to this ancient region. All grapes are hand harvested from the incredibly steep slopes. 100% destemmed to retain the fresh fruit purity.
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- Fruit Cake
- Red Meat
Critic Scores & reviews
"Granitic, smoky, garrigue and blueberry nose. Intense palate of smoked, grilled, cured meats, ripe blueberry and plenty of earth and spice notes. Very serious for a such an affordable wine- punches well above its price point. Exceptional introduction to the Rhone and Syrah/Viognier blends."
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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.
Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.
Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)
The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
The Rhône Valley is in the South of France and is situated in the Rhône river valley. The region has been growing wines for centuries and is generally split into two sub-regions. In the Northern Rhône, Syrah is the predominant grape variety, though it is often blended with other white varieties like Marsanne, Rousanne and Viognier, or the red grape Mourvedre. In the Southern Rhône, a wide range of white, red and rosés are produced alongside the undisputed king of the Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The Northern Rhône is cooler than the Southern Rhône and has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winter. The appellations from North to South are Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Château-Grillet, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-Péray.
In Southern Rhône, the climate is more Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot summers. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the most famous appellation but others include Côtes du Rhône, Gigondas and Lirac. Large pebbles are used in the region, placed at the base of the vines to absorb the suns heat during the day, to keep the vines warm at night.
Châteauneuf-du-Papes are blended from the 13 permitted grape varieties, though Grenache usually dominates, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre. These wines can be supremely rich and complex and typically warrant 5-10 years in the cellar for best results.
The Rhone appellation furthest north is known for its captivating landscapes and exceptional wines, and among its renowned regions, one stands out—the picturesque Côte-Rôtie. Translating to "Roasted slope," this appellation derives its name from the region's steep slopes that face the sun, providing an ideal exposure for the vineyards. Nestled within Côte-Rôtie, two main slopes, known as the Côte Brune and Côte Blonde, showcase distinct characteristics that contribute to the diverse range of wines produced.
As their names suggest, the Côte Brune features darker soils composed of rich clay and iron. These elements impart strength and robustness to the wines cultivated in this area. The Côte Brune wines are known for their firm structure, deep flavors, and remarkable aging potential. The combination of the clay soils' ability to retain heat and the iron's influence on the grapes creates a unique and powerful expression of the terroir.
In contrast, the Côte Blonde boasts lighter soils composed of slate and limestone. This soil composition lends a delicate elegance and a softer touch to the wines produced on this slope. Wines from the Côte Blonde exhibit a graceful character with nuanced flavors, refined aromatics, and a silky texture. The slate and limestone contribute to the wine's finesse by providing excellent drainage, allowing the vines to reach a delicate balance between ripeness and acidity.
It is worth noting that Côte-Rôtie wines can either originate from a single designated slope or be a blend of both. When enjoying a bottle of Côte-Rôtie, the label will indicate whether the wine is sourced from the Côte Brune or the Côte Blonde or if it is a harmonious blend of grapes from both slopes. This labeling practice allows wine enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the distinct characteristics and nuances of each individual slope or experience the beautiful marriage of flavors achieved through skillful blending.
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About the brand Vignobles Chirat
The history of the Chirat vineyard really began in 1984 with a young farmer’s desire to realize his dream : that of changing from the mixed farming done by his family for several generations, in order to plunge headlong into vine-growing on the vertiginous, terraced hillsides of Condrieu. It was no easy task. The apple, cherry and apricot trees which had taken root on the slopes, had to be pulled up so that the Viognier and the Syrah could take full advantage of this privileged setting.
It was 24 years later that father and son entered into partnership to create the EARL VIGNOBLES CHIRAT as it is known today.
Young agriculturist since July 2012, Aurelien seeks to uphold the quality of his father’s wines whilst bringing in the experience of his studies and the work he had done in other vineyards (New Zealand, the south of France and Burgundy).