Rhone Royalty Unembellished
2015 Faurie Hermitage Greffieux/Bessards

Posted by Ian McFadden

There is no grander, more regal expression of Syrah than Hermitage.

Bernard Faurie is one of the great old traditionalists of Hermitage.

Faurie is well into his sixties and he's still a driving force behind some of the purest expressions of Hermitage that we know.

These are some of our favorite expressions of Hermitage. Faurie captures its elegance and complexity with such detail and clarity. Decidedly old-fashioned methods are used -- whole clusters, the grapes are foot trodden and the wines are aged in demi-muids.

Much of the strength of Faurie's Hermitage comes from the greatness of his sites. He owns plots in some of Hermitage's best vineyards - Bessards, Le Méal and Greffieux. Unfortunately, while his holdings are great, they are also small. They amount to 1.7ha. If Faurie isn't better known, it's because the size of the domaine places a major cap on the exposure that the wines get.

For Faurie, the Bessards is almost always an essential part of profound Hermitage. This is one of the appellation's greatest sites. Bessards is famous for its intensely granitic soils and the sternly structured, emphatically mineral and tension-filled wines it produces. (The Chaves consider Bessards vital to their Hermitage.)

The Greffieux/Bessards bottling showcases the floral and more suavely textured side of Hermitage. Recent vintages have left us with the impression that Faurie is at the top of his game when it comes to the Greffieux/Bessards bottling, but the 2015 is simply killer. It's a crystal-clear expression of the wine. Everything feels amplified: there's extraordinary lift, intense concentration and extreme purity.

This isn't surprising. The 2015 Northern Rhônes are packed with soaring dynamic energy, power and complexity. Even Jancis Robinson has come out and said: "grab northern Rhône 2015 reds with both hands."

Faurie is among our two or three favorite producers of Hermitage, and when you factor in the price there's no competition. The 2015 is a really impressive example of the heights that Faurie can reach.

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

Ian McFadden

Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits