Jean-Baptiste’s wines are like nothing else we’ve had from the Northern Rhône —at least recently. The two whites we have selected to begin with, courtesy of granite, of higher altitude, and of Jean-Baptiste’s tendency to pick just before they over-ripen, are incredibly fresh. They are floral rather than rich and honeyed. And on the palate, for these varieties and this region, they have unusual coolness and minerality. As to the reds, they are absolutely captivating. In this first vintage, though they are unmistakably Syrah, there is none of the primary violets and black fruit, nor any of the bacon. They are so much more than that. They unfold tirelessly, a ‘catch me if you can’ between a very whole-cluster-Burgundy faded rose petals and magnificent, hyper-tense, savory. On the palate, the flavors are all savory, salty, with bright acidity and great structure. Never tiring, they always always call for a further glass —and for food. In fact, it’s hard to fully appreciate these wines without giving them a good two-hour head start in a decanter. Structure is definitely where we may lose some people. Tant pis! It’s the decidedly slow unfolding that is so compelling in these wines. Becky Wassermna & Co.
JEAN BAPTISTE SOUILLARD 2017 COTE ROTIE TARTARAS
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