Little by little, I’ve been burning through my meager wine collection. I popped this bottle just before Halloween and took notes, but never posted anything about it until now. Having been disappointed with so many aged Southern Rhône wines lately (Châteauneuf du Pape—you’re on notice!) it was nice to switch from soft, plump Grenache to edgier Syrah. It still sticks with me, too.

Sexy, no?

Sexy, no?

Origin: Cornas, Northern Rhône Valley, France

Composition: 100% Syrah

Appearance: translucent red-black

Nose: smoke, wildberries, wintergreen, leather

Palate: ripe blackberry, liquid smoke, leather, thyme, rosemary

Mouthfeel: medium-bodied and silky with fresh acidity and fine tannins

Really, just shockingly good. This wine has held up beautifully over the last decade-plus. Still vibrant and shows another decade of drinkability as its acidity and firmness on the back palate were long to soften in the glass. This was paired with a hearty beef stew with various root veggies (carrots, parsnips, turnips, and potatoes) and was just right to cut through the richness and fat. The likelihood of finding this vintage now is slim and it surely wasn’t cheap (I think in the neighborhood of $90 a few years back when I added it to the collection), but, based on what I’ve read, I would feel confident with any Clape bottling of the last decade.