One of the great things about the various wines in the HSC is that they all have character. Most of them have individual character and even though they all perform more or less the same function for me, there is very little blend together. The last few editions have seen us mired in French soil and to that again we go for this installment as well.
Unlike the Guigal, this one took little to no time to “grow” on me and out of the gate, I thought it was fantastic, which is more the norm for the wines listed here. With this one heavily fueled percentage-wise by Syrah, one of the HSC’s most favorite varietals, if not outright favorite, this isn’t perhaps so surprising. Typically this style of wine will more heavily feature Grenache, which adds to the St. Esprit’s uniqueness. This one also takes very little air time to hit the sweet spot.
This is an eminently smooth and highly enjoyable wine, balanced by the Grenache, which adds a note of astringency to things lest they get too boring. This is perhaps the most accessible wine yet on this list from France and a good demonstration as to that country’s renown in the various wine circles. It is not overly fruity, but rather displays the great depth of body and maturity of taste that Syrah is so very good at. Again, not so surprising, but certainly pleasant.
This one never seems to be on SPA, but at right around $12 a bottle, it’s not much of a hit to pick up a few bottles and it does very well as a drinking/sipping wine. It’s also one of my favorite French entries and is as tried and true as they come, hence a Standard.