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Someone once told me there is geological strata from Dijon in Burgundy going south to Ampuis in the Northern Rhone and then as far as Alba (Barolo, Barbaresco) in Piedmont. And this is why the wines from all these three regions have similar appeal to many wine lovers, despite being made from totally different grape varietals, soil types, and also winemaking practice. Makes sense or not, we do love a good Bourgogne, Rhone and Nebbiolo.

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In the Northern Rhone, there are of course many great traditional and also many so-called low intervention winemakers like Matthieu Barret’s, whose entry label the Petit Ours is so very pretty, combining lots of black cassis & cherry aromas with floral and smoky notes plus the usual pepper spice known for Syrah from this area.

As this is only the start to possibly a long journey towards other Domaine du Coulet’s wines, including their single vineyard Cornas, we also look forward to show you the more elegant Cote Rotie and St Joseph, or perhaps the dark roast and mineral style of Crozes Hermitage and Hermitage, which make up the other Northern Rhone appellations.

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“Deep ruby. Smoke- and spice-accented aromas of dark berries and olive paste, with a licorice nuance in the background. Smoky and focused on the palate, offering blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of cracked pepper. Dusty tannins build on the finish, which leaves behind peppery spice and smoke notes.” Josh Raynolds for Vinous and the 2014 vintage. 89 points