Domaine Christelle Betton
2018 ‘Espiègle’ Crozes-Hermitage AOC
France: Rhône Valley
Northern Rhône Steal of the Year! At $40 this is a bargain. With Hermitage next door pushing the $400s, to land a “petite” representation of the terroir and style that is the quintessence of Syrah is not an easy feat on a tight budget. So, at $24, this is a GIFT from France to you, to us. Embrace it.
Just when we thought that these parts are dry for crazy value, voila comes this STUNNING little Crozes-Hermitage…
To help explain our love affair with this wine, Jeb Dunnuck just published his recent impressions: “In short, 2018 is a brilliant vintage for the Northern Rhône that checks in above 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016, but lags 2009, 2010, and 2015, which continue to be the benchmark vintages for the Northern Rhône. In general, all appellations excelled. The quality from Crozes-Hermitage is similar to what the region saw in 2015… The vintage is packed with terrific wines that have the rich, fruit-loaded style of a hot year paired with a beautiful sense of freshness, ripe, supple tannins, and the balance and purity to both drink well in their youth yet also evolve gracefully.”
Can’t fathom a better introduction to this phenomenal 95-97 point vintage!
Deep purple with an impenetrable opaque black heart, and a radiant rim. The nose is like stopping at a florist’s booth at a spring market, plus berries, red and dark. On the palate it retains at once fresh and dried berries, filling the mouth with a cocoa powder grip and savory spices. Floral still on the finish, and mineral-infused, all the elements carry through long, with tremendous traction. Ideal with a Cassoulet! Bring on the pork, lamb, duck, game, stewed, roasted, braised, or ideally in the form sausages… can’t go wrong with this one and a myriad of perfect food pairings.
Story has it that our friends at North Berkeley, holders of the prestigious Wine & Spirits Importer of the Year award, discovered this TINY Domaine via Burgundy (from where Betton sources barrels) following the praise from one of their top wineries, “Christelle Betton took over the family estate from her father Roland and has greatly refined and purified their house style. The wines are excellent representatives of Crozes-Hermitage, deliciously drinkable and abundantly perfumed; a local treasure.”
Words to drink by.
Such insider tips are how the word gets out on the next big France wine thing. Join us in becoming the cool kids who knew them way before they reach the impossible to find or afford realm. If we are betting on a wrong horse, so be it, what you’ll end up with is a crazy bargain, stunningly delicious, cellar-worthy Crozes.
Smell the flowers, while still in full bloom!
91 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Displays extremely primary, spice-accented black/blue fruit aromas that are complemented by deep suggestions of violet and licorice. Chewy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry, cassis, dark chocolate and cracked pepper flavors along with subtle game and mineral flourishes. Finishes very long and precise, with repeating dark berry and floral notes and youthfully gripping tannins. Drink 2023-2030.”
Deep purple with an impenetrable opaque black heart, and a radiant rim
The nose is like stopping at a florist’s booth at a spring market, plus berries, red and dark
At once fresh and dried berries fill the mouth with a cocoa powder grip and savory spices
Floral, and mineral-infused elements carry through long, with tremendous traction
Cassoulet! Bring on the pork, lamb, duck, game, stewed, roasted, braised, in sausages…
What the Winery Says
- Christelle Betton
- 100% Syrah
- Crozes-Hermitage AOC, Northern Rhône
- La Roche de Glun
- Alluvial galets roulés
- Vine age
- 10-20 years
- 100% whole cluster
- 12 months
- 100% neutral Burgundian oak