The $5000 Cellar, Part 2

Continuing on with careful selections of Syrah, Cabernet and Nebbiolo


« Prev Next » 6 of 16

The Rhône is really the place for Syrah in my book. This is where the finest expressions have historically come from: the granite hills of Cornas, Hermitage and the Côte-Rôtie. It is here that you find Syrah both elegant and powerful, blessed with ripe fruit that lacks heaviness yet is packed with a sweetness that allows for flavors of thyme, black olive and lavender to gently accent the fruit.

One producer on my radar is the relatively new Franck Balthazar, who has been producing Cornas from old vines since about 2002. These are rather classical wines, with lots of herb and olive, and game complimenting the ripe fruit. The fruit is unusually fresh and the tannins (Cornas is famed for rough tannins) are remarkably well managed without being polished away. I’m partial for the Balthazar Cornas from the Chaillot vineyard as I think it has a bit more tension in the mouth, but the truth is that this is a producer to follow!

Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot

Recent great vintages include: 2006, 2009, 2010

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: Giacomo Pevere
    Hand of Snooth
    806471 999

    I can just quote your nebbiolo picks! I love that bottles.
    Price for Ar. Pe Pe and Produttori del Barbaresco are pretty high in USA, in Italy they are around 35€ and 25€, pretty good price for Burlotto 40/45€ here.

    Mar 01, 2012 at 1:22 PM

  • What a great Web site!!

    Mar 01, 2012 at 3:29 PM

  • Snooth User: JonDerry
    Hand of Snooth
    680446 3,110

    Great article Greg, have been looking for Nebbiolo in this price range...

    Mar 02, 2012 at 12:49 AM

  • "they’re going to be bangin’ wines."

    Ah, "bangin'".

    Just the description we were seeking for the fine wines we hope to cellar...

    Mar 02, 2012 at 3:58 AM

  • Thank you for using my photo for your article, Arrington Vineyards in Tennessee, which is were this photo was take, is a wonderful place to enjoy a good glass of wine.

    Mar 02, 2012 at 10:22 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks everyone for your kind words. This series is a whole lot of fun to day as I get to live vicariously through my words. Now I have to figure out how to follow up!

    Mar 04, 2012 at 10:32 AM

  • Snooth User: osca1600
    974102 1

    Dead simple to create a $5K cellar of superb wine, simply buy some sequential years of Penfolds Grange, Bin 707, Henschke Hill of Grace and perhaps some Mt Mary Quintet and there you are. Given that the list price for Grange (say current vintage) normally starts at around $400, with the addition of back vintages and/or the super premium vintages going for between $500-1000 per bottle, Hill of Grace at around the $300 mark, Penfolds 707 and Mt Mary for between $150-200 per bottle, one's $5K will be spent very quickly.

    On the other hand you could moderate the expense by say purchasing some Penfold Bin 389, 407, RWT etc and perhaps some Wynns Michael Shiraz et al for sub $100 per bottle instead of purely the above and one would get a little more variety and a few more into the $5K cellar.

    Mar 15, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network