45 dollars: Agly Brothers 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages
Agly Brothers is a joint venture between Michel Chapoutier and legendary Australian winemaker Ron Laughton who makes delectable wine at his Jasper's Hill Vineyard in Heathcote (Victoria) where, not coincidentally, Michel Chapoutier's Australian winemaking operation is also based. But around ten or more years ago Ron and Michel decided to go halves on a very small but wildly beautiful (i.e. beautiful in a wild way!) vineyard in deepest French Catalonia. The wine is made at Michel's Bila Haut winery in the village of Latour de France where I also had the privilege to work in 2007.
The 2013 is a helluva good wine that, for the first time, is Syrah dominant. Previous vintages of this wine had been a degree or more stronger in alcohol due to higher proportions of Grenache and Carignan but these have been scaled back and so the wine now sits prettily at 13% alcohol and boy does it look good as a result! From being a meaty monster the Agly Bros is suddenly a wine of precision and finesse. When it was still in barrel, Jeb Dunnuck gave it a 94-96 points provisional rating, and estimated that it would go from strength to strength over the next 10 to 15 years. "probably the greatest wine yet from this collaboration between Michel Chapoutier and Ron Laughton." Killer wine.