TN: 2016 Etienne Bécheras (Le Prieuré d'Arras) Crozes-Hermitage

Apparently Becheras wines have been quite hard to find in the US, so I feel lucky to have run across this locally. Quite youthful appearing, dark garnet with a watery rim.

Smells nice and dark and savory- very typical of N Rhone Syrah, though perhaps not with the intensity of more prestigious appellations/producers. The fruits aromas are black cherry and ripe plums, but there is meatiness and roasted vegetable smells in there as well. I only get a little bit of peppercorn.

Very savory in the mouth and now I get the black pepper. It’s an interesting experience to drink. It enters gently and smoothly, but the flavors build as the wine is rolled around the palate to an intensity unexpected from the initial entry. The fruits in the mouth are slightly more towards the red spectrum, cherries and mulberries, maybe a little raspberry as well. Cocoa powder, Dr. Pepper, and spices I associated with Indian cooking (cumin? coriander?) are present in the finish.

A few hrs in the decanter helped the wine pull itself together nicely.

I like this quite a bit. It is very pleasant and interesting. It has many of the characteristics of more expensive and famous Northern Rhone reds, but turned down a little. If a big Hermitage or Cote Rotie were at a volume of 11, this is like a 6 or a 7. Which is not necessarily a bad thing- you get the flavor profile without the (sometimes exhausting) intensity: well suited to dinner at the end of a long day at work and the first sub 40-degree day of Fall.


I have never heard of this producer. Thank you for sharing. Can I ask what the cost was for this?

Never heard of this producer before …
But I discovered Laurent Habrard’s Crozes recently.

Not too much! Just around $30. Well worth it!

They’ve been in the US for a long time, imported by Neal Rosenthal. Production is small and the attention has gone to the Levet/Lionnet/Gilles/Michel end of the portfolio, but if it’s Northern Rhone picked by Neal, you know it’s good.

Very good and underrated domaine, one I often overlook but shouldn’t. The Saint-Josephs are very good as well.