100% Syrah. Stéphane Rousset’s wines are built on solid craftsmanship and a clear concession of his voice to that of his terroir. His rough, intense look gives the impression that he might be a tough one to squeeze for information, but fifteen seconds in his smile grows and his soft, humble personality emerges. He and his lovely wife, Isabelle, are gentle and hospitable people. Stéphane works in the Crozes-Hermitage, which is home to one of the most diverse terroirs under one red grape variety, Syrah. The criticism of Crozes-Hermitage comes in the form of the vastness of its terroir and the often ordinary nature of its Syrah. However, there are exceptions and one only need to know where to look for them. Les Picaudières is Stéphane ‘s ace, based in the village of Gervans, it one of the best sites in all of Crozes-Hermitage and can easily compete with wines from the hill of Hermitage. Sustainably farmed, old vines, and aged in almost all neutral oak barrels this wine is all dark fruit, earth, graphite, and full of mineral electricity. This is not your everyday Crozes-Hermitage, yet most people don’t know that so the price is an absolute steal.