TN: 2018 Franck Balthazar Crozes-Hermitage

I have spammed various QPR threads about Balthazar’s Crozes. So I guess it was fitting to actually post a tasting note on it. I opened my last bottle out of four yesterday.
The first bottle I opened right after release was just decent. It was mainly just showing youthful fruit and not much else…

This last bottle was by far the best.

Aged in old oak barrels. 13,5% alcohol. The nose has become very fragrant and is classic Northern Rhone Syrah.
Blackberries, black raspberries and a high pitched note of something slightly more red (including the slighest hint of VA). It has become very floral and is filled with notes of olives. There are some raw meat notes as well.
You do find some freshly ground pepper notes, but it is not as dominant as it can be in some Balthazar wines.
It has that slightly rough mineral character, but it is very approachable. The acidity lifts it so it feels very fresh.
The nose is pretty amazing, specially at this level. The palate a bit more simple but very enjoyable.
This is such a fresh and crunchy 2018 Northern Rhone Syrah and as I have mentioned in other threads then I think Balthazar absolutely nailed the vintage.

I have the 2018 Chaillot, Casimir and Sans Soufre Ajoute cuvees in the cellar. Cannot wait to taste them down the road.

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Good stuff. I’ve only tasted the Cornas Chaillot, but would like to try this.

I do like having these lower end cuvees to drink while waiting for the big ones to come of age. Of cause it is not at Chaillots quailty, but you get the Balthazar vibes in a very nice package.

I recommend waiting at least one year after release to drink them.

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Cool! I bought but haven’t tried.

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Worth opening a 2018 now, drinking very well now.

Yeah, I pretty much prefer to wait 5-8 years from vintage even with lower level Syrahs.

Lasse, great note. Agree this is a fantastic QPR- £15 for me! I only have one of my six ‘18’s remaining. Need to buy more of these each vintage going forward! If only so I can see how they evolve.

I also need to buy more. Four was not enough!