2020 Mirabel Charmis l'Ardeche Syrah
Region: Ardeche < France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming, argilo-calcareous soils with lots of pebbley rocks; destemmed fruit undergoes 10 days of maceration, and ages half in neutral barrels and half in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with tiny amount of added So2 at bottling only; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Remi Leorat
The Ardeche region is part of northern Rhone, and mostly known for the famous AOC wines of Cornas and St. Joseph. Here Remi Leorat is making tiny lots of not famous but super delicious and über natural wines - native yeast only, no additives, no enzymes, no SO2 before or during fermentation, no fining, no filtration.
This is ravishing, feral, seductive Northern Rhône Syrah that, as is the case with so many of our beloved, rustic Northern Rhone Syrahs, can be polarizing on first sniff/sip -- you'll either love the charming rusticity or hate it. 100% Syrah from Remi Leorat's organically farmed domaine just southwest of Valence, on the Ardeche side of the Rhône River, it checks all the Northern Rhone Syrah boxes: bacon fat, smokey spice, white flowers and a nice amount of juicy black fruit (plums + cherries!) on a firm, rocky backbone. We love this wine, and you may too; take a chance, and you may find your new go-to winter red to carry you through until spring.
Perfect for meaty meals, long braised or grilled especially, but you could pair it with hearty veg dishes as well.