Wine of the week: an exquisite and evocative French syrah

This expressive syrah is as aromatic and evocative as many wines twice the price. 

2020 Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Maison Les Alexandrins, Northern Rhône, France 

£29.70, hedonism.co.uk

The 2020 Rhône Valley offers are whizzing around the wine world like racing pigeons. One eminent wine merchant tells me that, in spite of this annual flurry of activity, the Rhônes En Primeur season is often a veritable damp squib, sandwiched each year by the frenzied bun fights of Burgundy EP in January and Bordeaux EP in April/May. This is a great shame because, unlike the aforementioned mega-regions, the Rhône still manages to offer world-class wines at affordable prices. While I know keen fans will sink their teeth into their favourite wines, I thought I would sound the alarm from this page with a wine that you do not have to wait to buy or indeed drink. If any wine will rev you up to the joys of elite French syrah, then this is it!  

After the unusually warm 2018 and 2019 vintages, the latter affected with severe hail damage in parts, 2020 was a year in which the vignerons had to nurse their oft-damaged vines back to health. It was a vintage when precision viticulture paid huge dividends and challenges came thick and fast. Some of the finest wines are made in years like this because minds are focused and talent is acutely reflected in the bottle. 

I nearly dropped my glass when I first tasted this exquisite Crozes. With a brief ten months spent in barrel and a mere 13% alcohol, this expressive syrah, soaked in granite and garrigue, is as aromatic and evocative as many wines twice the price. 

Recommended

Digital pound likely to launch this decade
Currencies

Digital pound likely to launch this decade

The Treasury and the Bank of England have launched a consultation on the introduction of a state-backed digital pound. We explain how a “Britcoin” cou…
7 Feb 2023
Treasury grills bank bosses over savings rates
Savings

Treasury grills bank bosses over savings rates

The Treasury Select Committee says customers are earning between 0.5% and 0.65% on basic savings accounts, well below the Bank of England base rate
7 Feb 2023
NS&I raises rates on its Green Savings Bonds
Savings

NS&I raises rates on its Green Savings Bonds

NS&I has boosted the rate on its Green Savings Bonds as it plays catch up to the savings market
7 Feb 2023
The best offers for switching banks – get up to £200 free cash
Personal finance

The best offers for switching banks – get up to £200 free cash

Looking to move bank accounts? You can now bag as much as £200 for switching current accounts.
7 Feb 2023

Most Popular

NS&I brings back one-year fixed bonds with highest rates since 2010
Personal finance

NS&I brings back one-year fixed bonds with highest rates since 2010

NS&I’s one-year fixed bonds are back on sale after being pulled off the market in 2019 - but is the rate any good?
1 Feb 2023
The best one-year fixed savings accounts - February 2023
Savings

The best one-year fixed savings accounts - February 2023

Earn almost 5% on one-year fixed savings accounts.
6 Feb 2023
Will energy prices go down in 2023?
Personal finance

Will energy prices go down in 2023?

Wholesale gas prices are on a downward trajectory, but does this mean lower energy bills later this year?
6 Feb 2023