03 Rousset, Crozes-Hermitage
Then there's the rest of Crozes-Hermitage. Maybe it's because I always hated the black jellybean. I hated it even more when I'd have a handful of delicious red ones and one black one snuck in to ruin it all. Rousset's syrah is austere, like a good cru Burgundy opened a few years too early. The tannins are so stern, they spear the air--a Trojan horse on the otherwise floral bouquet--with that feeling of soapy water up my nose. There's great depth here beyond the taste of bitter licorice, rose thorns, oven cleaner, and watered-down liquid Tylenol. And I bet when the tannins die down, this wine will be relatively luxurious. Well, that is, if you could freeze the rest of the wine in time. But the truth is that, by the time the hard edge on Rousset's syrah calms down, the fruit just won't be there anymore. Maybe some smokiness could come out. Maybe even a bit of bacon fat, which is the thing this wine is missing most. It makes bacon sad that the 2003 Rousset Crozes-Hermitage doesn't taste like bacon. It says something, though, that I only think of what this wine might be, not what it is today. I don't doubt that there's a lot of heart here. Every bit of violet and sweet raspberry that pokes through carries with it that great Old World punch that so many anti-Parkerites would swoon over. Ideology isn't enough reason to love a wine, though. And while I don't think a vintner should ever pander to a critic's taste, he should also be careful not to forget his drinker. Who is me. Sitting here. Painfully, wantonly wanting more. Not because of points, or greed, or being American. Because my heart beats hard.