Georges Vernay Saint-Joseph La Dame Brune 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
From a 1.5 Hectare vineyard with 25 year old Syrah vines on exposed Granite soil.
Wine Spectator - "Very plush, but with great drive to the blackberry, boysenberry, mocha, ganache and licorice flavors that race along on top of well-embedded tannins. There's a great minerally undertow on the lengthy finish, which delivers an encore of gorgeous fruit. Drink now through 2014. 165 cases made."
Georges Vernay Winery
GEORGES VERNAY created the family business with 1.5 hectares of AOC Condrieu "Coteau du Vernon" vineyards.
Towards the end of the 40's, GeorgesVernay became one of the most ardent defenders and saviours of the Appellation, then about to disappear.
Today, the vinification is assured by his children Luc and Christine VERNAY and the estate extends over 16 hectares:
7 hectares in the appellation Condrieu, of which 3 hectares are old vines producing 2 prestigious vineyards matured in barrels: the "Coteau de Vernon" and "Les Chaillées de l'Enfer".
Both vineyards represent the quintessence of Condrieu's Viognier vine. These exquisite incomparable white wines with their golden colour are of great nobleness, full-bodied, unctuous and persistent.
3 hectares of Côte Rotie
1.5 hectares of Saint Joseph
5 hectares of Syrah and Viognier View all Georges Vernay Wines
About Cotes du RhoneView a map of Cotes du Rhone wineries
The appellation of Côtes du Rhône encompasses much of the land of the area, not to mention much of the wine – over two-thirds of the wine produced here is of the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. Wines here need only be from the Côtes de Rhône geographic area (which is fairly large) and consist of one or more of the 22 varieties permitted. Being such a wide classification, it's a surprise and joy that so many of these wines reach such a high quality. While there are areas in the Northern Rhône that meet the classification of Côtes du Rhône, most all of this appellation is in the Southern Rhône. Wines here are based mostly on Grenache, like other Rhône reds, while the whites focus on Marsanne and Roussanne. Viognier is also allowed although typically used in smaller quantities.
Notable FactsThere is one higher level in the Côtes du Rhône called Côtes du Rhône Villages. These wines are from specific village areas that have a few more standards the wine must reach to receive the village label. Some to take note of are Cairanne, Rasteau, Seguret and Beaumes-de-Venise. The good thing about both Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages is that big producers of the smaller appellations are taking the opportunity and freedom offered by this broad appellation and creating wines of very high quality, and lower in price.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.