Follow the Buyer! Paul Bressler
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Paul's Bio

Buyer for: Rhone, Spirits

Paul’s introduction to fine wine was as a recent college graduate back in 1985 with the heralded release of 1982 Bordeaux. His interest then expanded to California wine, then to Australian and Chilean wines, before going back to Europe and discovering the wines of Italy, Spain and the rest of France. Paul has been in the wine business since 2001, first working for a small importer and then in retail. At 67Wine, he manages the website, in addition to serving as a buyer for Rhone, California Chardonnay, and all Spirits.

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Paul's Wine Selection -
Johann Michel Cuvée Grain Noir 2012

The Johann Michel Cuvée Grain Noir is a fantastic introduction to the wines of Cornas and the Northern Rhône in general. People who are fans of New World Syrah and Shiraz owe it to themselves to try the Syrahs from the Rhône, and the Cuvée Grain Noir is a perfect wine to bridge the style gap.

The Story
Why I Bought ThisFood Pairing

The Johann Michel Cuvée Grain Noir is 100 percent Syrah from young vines in Cornas and some vines from just outside the appellation, all tank fermented. Johann himself is the nephew of famed Cornas winemaker Robert Michel. He’s been making wine since 1997, and has been called “a rising superstar” in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, while Wine Spectator says he’s an emerging domain to watch. His Cornas wines routinely score in the mid-nineties. John Gilman, in his publication A View From the Cellar, scored the 2012 Cuvée Grain Noir at 89+, calling it “good juice and an excellent value!”

I’ve liked several vintages of the Johann Michel Cuvée Grain Noir, but I fell in love with the 2011, and the 2012 is very similar. It only takes a sniff and a sip to know why I love it. The nose is filled with smoke and rich black fruit. The palate gets hit with a blast of black pepper and black olive, shows a lot of that black fruit, and finishes with hickory smoke and bacon fat. This is an animalistic Syrah, everything you could want from a young wine from the Northern Rhône. Low tannin and mild acidity (the 2012 is slightly brighter) make this a drink now (not for the cellar) wine, but that’s all that separates this from the high dollar Cornas you would really fall for, but can’t justify—except for special occasions! My wife and my brother, both pretty serious about their wine as well, also love it.

As Johann said in an interview last year with Kat Morse, this is his barbecue wine. You can’t go wrong serving this with a hunk of grilled red meat, either beef or lamb. That said, I’ve served this with pot roast, with pork chops, with a chicken stew, and on its own, and I never thought I chose the wrong wine.

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Reg. $19.99

Domaine de la Charite, is located in the village of Saze west of Avignon, and its organically tended vineyards are surrounded by olive trees.  This classic Cotes du Rhone-Villages boasts flavors of forest fruit and a gentle whiff of oak.  Versatile ... more
Sku: 053667

Reg. $16.99

89 Points , Wine Advocate, Jay Miller
The 2007 Torre de Golban Crianza offers up plum and blackberry aromas and flavors leading to a racy, elegant, slightly tart, expression of Tinto Fino with excellent balance and length. ... more
Sku: 045398

Reg. $23.99

100% Syrah, from young vines, declassified, from Cornas. Nice bite of green olive, black olive, blacI’ve liked several vintages of the Johann Michel Cuvée Grain Noir, but I fell in love with the 2011, and the 2012 is very similar. It only takes a ... more
Sku: P58623

Reg. $14.99

Have you ever heard of the expression, “a wine tasted of a particular place”? That's what this wine did, and the place it expressed is the Northern Rhone. Helfenbien La Syrah is the real deal, with an Old World classic texture free from any flab. ... more
Sku: 057664