Equis Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Lises 2011

Equis Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Lises 2011: Inky color; bacon, minerals nose; vivid black berries,

raspberry, pepper, blackcurrant tang, plum, spice, syrah meatiness; puckering tannin and acidity, minerals galore, flirts with rusticity, but focus and clarity of black fruits pull it back. Crozes-Hermitage is the affordable region of the Northern Rhône, while Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage are the tonier, more expensive areas. Maxime Graillot, the maker, is second generation and focuses on artisanal efforts. His father, Alain, was one of the most famous growers in the Crozes-Hermitage appellation, and they lovingly disagree on exactly how to handle syrah while respecting each other’s efforts—Maxime’s technique involves de-stemmed grapes and more restraint with oak, making for less green, more fruit-expressive product. This wine is worth a shot if you enjoy bold, acidic, spicy, tangy, complex wine; if you whine about that style of wine, go for easier drinking syrahs from Australia. Or try both and see what a difference terroir and technique make. You probably already guessed—the wine benefits considerably from air/decanting. $31Equis Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Lises