Stephan has produced transcendent wines that are worthy successors to his vivid ‘17s and psychedelic ‘18s. If you’re new to these, the aromatic profiles of these wines borders on the addictive, melding Syrah’s carnal savoriness with the nuances lent by Stephan’s carbonic ferments and whole cluster winemaking. These are also fundamentally wines of place with the imprint of granite easily felt.
The 2019 ‘Binardes’ is fresher and nimbler than in 2018, very pure, redder-spectrumed with lots of details. The texture is both vibrant and pliant, a paradox that those who have experienced these wines will understand. This is a feast for the senses, a wine to drink young for its absurdly attractive fruit and irrepressible exuberance. We don’t do the ‘back up the truck’ sort of thing, but you will be happy you bought a 3-pack. - Jason
Compared to the 15 abv of the '18, 2019 is 13% - this tells some of the story of the vintages. This wine gives me more of a red fruited lively impression. There's a high-toned very expressive nose from the get-go. On the palate you get more olive and pepper, but still so much lighter and more approachable than the '18. I love that this wine offers early drinking Northern Rhône character which still has plenty of layers and complexity, without being heavy or tannic. Slightly into the natural camp but with enough classic expression- the approachability is pretty insane. - Daniel
This wine, formerly known as the "Nature" cuvée, is now named for its single vineyard origin: "Les Binardes" in the Côte Blonde. Made up mostly of Serine with a small portion of Viognier, this wine is unusual in that it is aged in stainless steel for 12 months. The wine is positively bursting with energy and aromatics.
The 2019 is lighter in color than the '18 and you can find red fruits (cherry, wild strawberry) to accompany the core of bright black fruit here. There's precise black olive and cracked pepper. A touch of VA adds polish and lift to the fruit on the nose. The palate meanwhile has quite gentle tannins compared to one's expectations for Côte-Rôtie. In fact, I'd venture this as the most youthfully approachable wine of the appellation I've yet tasted. It's furthermore a fantastic introduction to the Stephan style and we're happy to be offering these at the sharpest prices in the country.
Jean-Michel Stephan is based in Tupin-et-Semons at the Southern extreme of AOC Côte-Rôtie. Here, he makes wines according to the principles of the enormously influential Jules Chauvet. At the very least that means winemaking without any additives nor corrections and by semi-carbonic fermentation. The wines have an elegance and levity unusual for Côte-Rôtie, without lacking the aromatic cornucopia which makes this appellation such a delight.