2004 Domaine du Colombier Hermitage AOC (Rouge – Syrah)

Mission Codename: Hermitage Heritage

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Select a classic wine from France’s Northern Rhone.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Domaine du Colombier

Wine Subject: 2004 Hermitage AOC

Winemaker: Florent Viale


While, some consider the Northern Rhone just a gateway to the south, lovers of French wines know that some of France’s finest wines are grown and produced in this region. Specifically, Hermitage AOC (and the Cote Rotie as well), known for classic Syrah wines that rival the best Cru Classes wines of Bordeaux. While the appellation allows for up to 15% of Marsanne and Roussane to be added the best wines from this AOC are 100% Syrah and balance power and weight with finesse and elegance.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep and dark purple with an almost black nearly opaque inky core. When held up to the light, garnet and ruby highlights glisten and the edges fade ever so slightly to garnet. Slow clusters of fat legs cling the edge of the glass when swirled.

Smell – Fragrant and well developed with ripe berries including blueberry, dusty red raspberry and blackberry that is layered over complex notes of earth, herbal fennel and floral violet hints.

Feel – Full-bodied, weighty and almost chewy in texture, this full-bodied with has firm but silky tannins and balanced medium acidity round with a touch of minerality that lingers through to the finish.

Taste – Rich and deeply concentrated flavors of blueberry, plum, and other red and black fruits are well integrated with a touch of exotic spice and the region’s trademark white pepper kick. Herbal fennel, smoke, floral violets and toasted oak round out the complex flavor profile of this lovely wine.

Finish – Weighty in the finish with fruit flavors that include plum, blueberry and black-fruit with lingering minerality, herbal notes and spice that goes on and on.

Conclusion – The 2004 Domaine du Columbier Hermitage is a delicious wine that truly represents the region’s tradition for exceptional wine. 100% Syrah, this wine has bold and rich fruit, but being classic old-world in its style and production, shows tremendous finesse and elegance. Perfect for anything you through on the grill or snuggling up in front of the bonfire on the beach, this wine will not disappoint.

Mission Report:

For those who know me, Summer time is a favorite season, not only because I enjoy barbecuing and the beach, but each summer one of the greatest sporting events occurs in the greatest of all stadiums. The Tour de France is that specular event with the stadium being the entire country of France.

Spanning 3500km and three weeks its a site to see and lovers of wine will immediately recognize the various regions traversed by those exceptional athletes. This year’s tour starts on the 4th of July in Monaco.

Just a few days ago I was talking with other enthusiasts of both the tour and wine and we pulled out a map to see what villages were included in this years race. And what better to do with good friends, sharing travel stories and pondering future trips? Well, opening up a classic French wine of course!

We wanted something a little different. Not that we were burnt out on Burgundy or Bordeaux, but to often those wines are enjoyed to the detriment of other great wines. So reaching back into the far corner of my cellar I retrieved today’s selection from Domaine du Columbier.

We sipped and enjoyed the wine, reminiscing about past races and journeys with great excitement for this years race.

A votre sante!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Hermitage AOC can be seen in this satellite photo.

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