Northern Rhône: A Steep, Forgotten Vineyard Part II: 2010 A La Tache St. Joseph Guillamy

Posted by Joe Salamone

Northern Rhône:
A Steep, Forgotten Vineyard Part II
2010 A La Tâche St.-Joseph Guillamy

Almost two weeks ago, we offered A La Tâche 2010 Badel. It sold out in a matter of hours.

The fast sell-out wasn't exactly a surprise, but I was still really happy to see it happen. The A La Tâche St.-Josephs are wines that have really impressed me and wines that I'm just really fond of.

They are of some of the most honest and pure examples of Syrah that I know of and the pricing is more than fair. To this, add the balance, clarity and overall quality of the 2010 vintage in the Northern Rhône and it adds up to a "don't miss" wine.

A La Tâche means "at work" and their main job is as a vineyard management team working the ridiculously steep slopes for the top producers of the Northern Rhône, think of people like Allemand, Chave and Gonon.

On the side, they farm tiny plots of two slopes that were too steep and laborious for people to want to farm: Badel and Guillamy.

Guillamy is a 1.2ha vineyard. Compared to the very cool Badel, which doesn't yield alcohol levels above 12 or 12.5 percent, Guillamy is the warmer site. Guillamy yields a more powerful expression of Syrah. It shows more texture than Badel and delivers notes of tapenade, flowers and herbs.

Like everything from A La Tâche, Guillamy is pure and precise. I've bought equal amounts of Badel and Guillamy for my personal cellar. The wines are stylistically quite different yet equally compelling. For me, both very much merit tracking over the next decade.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits