Etincelle: a flash of i
Naming your wines is an intensely personal thing and it can be difficult to find one that someone else isn't using. Etincelle was easy; it's a lighthearted reference to 2004 when Denis encountered a near fatal 25,000 watts when cleaning out a vat. Fortunately for all of us he survived and Etincelle (spark) is the result.
So what's his Etincelle like? It is powerful, smooth Syrah with all the energy the name suggests. Denis uses very little new oak and a 24 day maceration. The 2017 is ripe and savoury with a touch of coffee, juicy dark fruit and fine acidity backed by woven tannins. It finishes with a floral touch and is an affordable source of great pleasure. Drink it over the next few years.
Crozes-Hermitage is always seen as a bit of a Cinderella appellation and it is a large area. But there is a group of excellent producers and some great terroirs. Denis Basset is a newish member of this group. His family have owned land here for ages and the vines were planted on land that was previously a mixed orchard. The family still grow flowers and farm vegetables, as has always been traditional in this part of France. Denis took control of the vineyards in 2007 and has grown up with the vines so knows them intimately. A grower to follow, we're extremely pleased to have discovered him. /CW
Offered subject to remaining unsold; available imminently