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Francois Merlin, Cote-Rotie 2010

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92 points Decanter
"The 2010 Cote-Rotie from Francois Merlin is a beautiful, full-bodied Syrah with intense flavors of black fruit, spice, and earth. It is elegant and well-balanced, with a long, lingering finish. This wine is still in its youth and will continue to develop for many years to come. It is a perfect choice for cellaring or for enjoying now."

91 points Wine Spectator
"Ripe, juicy and more open-knit in feel than most '10s, this offers a light brambly feel that helps support the blackberry, black currant and fig notes. Lively spice and tobacco accents add range on the finish. Best from 2014 through 2024. 580 cases made."

Vinous Reverie Notes
François Merlin is one of the most exciting names in the Northern Rhone for producing elegant Syrah and Viognier. He is a rare first-generation Rhone winemaker. The son of a chemical engineer, he moved to Saint-Michel-sur-Rhone, just south of Condrieu, in 1989. He has never studied wine officially, but instead learnt from the best – namely in the vines of Domaine Rene Rostaing. He planted his first plot in 1989, and the estate today consists of nine hectares, spread across a multitude of tiny parcels, in Condrieu, Cote-Rôtie, Saint-Joseph and the Collines Rhodaniennes. The emphasis is firmly in the vineyard, with a sustainable approach, avoiding chemicals in all but the most severe vintages. The yields are low, around 35hl/ha, the fruit picked by hand, and the use of new oak has gradually been reduced, using Stockinger demi-muids alongside French barriques. This Cote-Rotie is a single-vineyard wine from the northern sector of the appellation. The vineyard is located on granite soils and is planted to 100% Syrah. The wine is fermented in concrete tanks and aged in 228-liter oak barrels for 18 months. Tasting Notes: The nose is complex, with aromas of black fruit, smoke, and spice. The palate is full-bodied and tannic, with flavors of black fruit, chocolate, and leather. The finish is long and lingering.


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