BarruolWe call him King Louis.

Louis Barruol is an untiring force in the Rhône. Aptly nicknamed the “Genius of Gigondas” Mr. Barruol is the fourteenth generation in his family to be making wine in this sixteenth-century domaine in Gigondas. The wines of he has produced for St. Cosme are (as his legion of fans and collectors around the world can attest) are simply outstanding and some of the best in the appellation. Yet that’s not enough for him.

So, to add to his already impressive resume, Mr. Baruol has made a joint micro-négociant venture with legendary American importer Kermit Lynch and it has been met (as you would expect) with tremendous success. Working closely with top growers in the northern parts of the region who still work with Sérine (an ancient version of Syrah) Mr. Lynch and him keep these glorious parcels out of the hands of the large, corporate négociants in an effort to save the authenticity and the identity of many great old tiny parcels in Côte Rôtie, Hermitage and Crozes. Only a few precious barrels are produced each year, and as you would expect, they disappear quickly. We’re very lucky to have secured a limited but gracious allocation of the magnificent Hermitage 2016’s, easily the top treasure of Lynch/Barruol partnership, from vintage that Mr. Barruol believes is superior to the epic and highly heralded 2015’s. These are stunning wines, crystalline in detail, soulful to the core, and mind-blowing values for a mere $75. For Rhône collectors, this is simply a must have experience.

2016 Hermitage Pierrelle Rouge

Tasting Note From Kermit Lynch Imports: “Barruol’s La Pierrelle checks all the boxes: the old clone of Syrah (Sérine) in a steep, rocky site; natural vinification with stems; élevage in used barrels; unfiltered bottling. Having had the good fortune to try some mature Hermitages from storied growers, I can nonetheless predict that this one will age similarly—majestically bold and yet somehow ethereal, developing savory, smoky, meaty, and floral nuances over decades in bottle.”

2016 Hermitage Pierrelle Blanc 

Tasting Note From Kermit Lynch Imports: “I’m always happy to revisit this wine and marvel at the impressively delicate profile, yet towering potential for growth. It’s classic Hermitage Marsanne, with lychee, nectarine, white flowers, and a focused minerality that provides a solid backbone. It’s so pretty! One sip of this and you’ll be clearing out space in the cellar for a few cases.