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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga

Paris at Craft and Cru: Syrah of Light

Gotfried Schalcken's A Boy Blowing on a Firebrand to Light a Candle, a beautiful example of chiaroscuro.

I'll sometimes talk about contrapposto or chiaroscuro, terms borrowed from the world of visual arts, to describe the balance of a wine. With excellent Syrah, I would always evoke chiaroscuro before contrapposto. Although Syrah can be statuesque, it tends toward extremely dark flavors, and its scarce bright tones penetrate like rays of light, almost as if they were to serve to illuminate beautiful details in the middle ground.

When it comes to excellent Syrah, I'm not sure I find anyone more reliable than Vincent Paris. His wines capture all the rich exotic dark flavors one could ask for from Syrah, yet even in warm vintages they retain zippy acidity, and fresh floral and herbal tones. His wines always have a sense of brightness amidst deep dark flavors. Vincent's Cornas wines rank among the very best reds of France, but you will get more than a glimmer of these wines' talents in his fabulous Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, which is only $18!

We have a decent stash of this wine, but it is always very limited and what we have will be it for the vintage, 2019, which is definitely a year to remember when it comes to most (all?) wine regions in Europe. A classic pairing for lamb, decant this and serve it with Easter dinner this weekend, or save it for another 3 to 5 years. I would stock up and follow it as it develops into something more and more interesting. There are few wines under $20 in which I would put such stock.

2019 Vincent Paris 'Syrah' Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes - $18

Aromas of blackberry, cassis, red plum, olives, peppercorns, violets, coffee beans, purple vitamins, delicate hints of lime and blood orange. On the palate, a wash of tart juicy fruit contends with firm tannins and zippy acids. It cuts, it grips, yet it is exuberant and giving. Medium-bodied, tense and fine-boned, this is elegant Syrah. The finish is long, tart and mineral, lingering on pleasant bitter herbal and fruit skin notes.

Thanks for reading!



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