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90pts Jeb Dunnuck: Moving to the 2017s and tasted from bottle, the 2017 Crozes Hermitage Espiègle is the larger production cuvée and is all about upfront charm and drinkability.Lots of red and black fruits, flowers, and spice all emerge from the glass. It’s medium-bodied, has moderate tannins, and a layered, balance profile ideal for drinking over the coming 4-5 years.

2017 Domaine des Pierres Seches:

Jeb Dunnuck: The young Burgundy-trained Sylvain Gauthier has hit some home runs with his latest 2017 whites and 2016 reds, and this is another up and coming estate readers need to have on their radar. Pulling from just five hectares of vines, quantities are unfortunately limited, but these are well worth the extra effort to track down. Gauthier didn’t start making wine until 2007, so the quality coming from the estate today bodes incredibly well for the future.


2016 is a roaring success in the Rhône. It follows the excellent 2015 whose release saw an upsurge in interest in this classic French region of diverse expression. Where 2015 produced Northern Rhône Syrahs of remarkable depth and complexity, 2016 has produced what many growers in the South are describing as the vintage of a generation.

    100% Syrah
    Crozes-Hermitage AOC
  • SIZE
    French oak

“Mischievous.” “Whimsy.” “Elixir.” In naming her wines, Christelle Betton describes the range of emotions and feelings that her craft inspires – and that her wines deliver. ‘Caprice’ means whim in French, and could describe the feelings of a passionate winemaker as she guides her vines through the challenges and often heartaches of each vintage. The family plows their land by hand, to train the vines’ roots to dig deep in the rocky soils for nutrients and moisture.

Representing the third generation of her family to have answered the siren call of northern Rhône Syrah, Christelle’s vision is one of pure and refined fruit, inspired by the cool northern Mistral winds and stony personality of her family’s vineyards in La Roche de Glun. Her skills come naturally, having watched her grandfather and father care for their vines, plowing the fields by hand and farming as naturally as possible. Today Christelle farms her land organically, but is not certified; she prefers the flexibility of allowing the earth to tell her what it needs, and when.

At harvest time you’ll find Christelle in the cellar, in black cowboy hat and knee-high plastic work boots, in her vats stomping grapes to the rhythms of Latin jazz or French rock. Mischievous, indeed.