Oratorio Crozes Hermitage Ogier France 13.5 % alcohol $ 26. Northern Rhone. 100% Syrah. Dark red with a spicy black fruit and vanilla nose. Dark chocolate, mocha and blackberry palate. Mineral finish. 90pts.
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan is a Master of Wine and author of The Everyday Guide to Wine. Her favorite summer bottle? Guigal Côtes-du-Rhône White, $ 14 "It's easy to sip, made up of over 50 percent Viognier, a fantastic breaking-into-summer grape with lovely floral aromas that remind you of spring, but luscious flavors of stone fruits we're starting to see in the supermarkets now."
Few who cherish the power and perfume of classically made Hermitage would argue that the greatest red and white examples emerge from the Chave family cellars. The current generations in charge, father Gérard and son Jean-Louis, use their knowledge, experience and spread of lieu-dits to craft wines that combine all the power, longevity, nuance and refinement that the Hermitage hill is capable of.