I rarely buy wine when I’m visiting domaines abroad, partly because it sends a signal of approval, which journalists should be cautious about, and partly because I try to travel light. In this case I made an exception. Faury was the last stop after a busy week of winery visits in the Rhône Valley, and my enthusiasm for the wines was palpably evident to anyone at the table. I also knew I had room in my luggage.
So I bought two of their St-Josephs, a bottle each of Hedonism and La Gloriette, and schlepped them back to the States wrapped in dirty laundry. I’d planned to cellar the bottles awhile longer, because young Syrah can be tight, but — well, you know how it goes.
The 2015 Hedonism is indeed youthful now, too young by five years and maybe more like ten. Still, the perfume is everything you want in Northern Rhône Syrah, mingling meat with fruit with earth with violets. The wine itself is a chewy mouthful of cured and smoked meats, black olives, green olives, and stone, but these savory notes are balanced but ripe plums and a breath of brushy herbs. The finish is savory, dark, and languorous.
Maybe I should open the other bottle soon, to compare them. Maybe I should always leave room in my luggage.
2015 Lionel Faury Hedonism Saint-Joseph AOP
13% abv | About $20 at the domaine in 2017
Kermit Lynch is Faury’s U.S. importer, but this wine is not currently imported.