2013-C Domaine Gilles Barge 'Cuvee du Plessy' Cote-Rotie, Rhone Valley, France

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As is common practice inCôte Rôtie, proprietor and winemaker, Gilles Barge, adds 5% Viognier to his Syrah to create extra aromatic lift. And it's that splash of Viognier which helps deliver the gorgeous nose on this classic northern Rhône Syrah with pretty floral scents to go along with the meaty, gamey, 'animale', white pepper, black olive, coriander and dried herb notes. The fuller-bodied palate is well concentrated with just the right essence of wild blackberry, black olive and black peppercorn spice to round out the frame of the wine. Fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in mostly older, 600 liter oak casks, this wine is impeccably balanced and finishes with a nice edge of bitter chocolate and semi firm tannins. It wouldn't hurt to be paired with a nice Steak au Poivre to bring out the peppery and meaty character of the wine.

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