French Syrah from the Rhône and Languedoc

Two different French takes on Syrah

Vidal-Fleury Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2012, Rhône, France (£16.95-£17.95 The Square Wine Company, Hailsham Cellars, Whole Foods Market)
With its ripe berry (red and dark) character and hints of vanilla, there’s almost a New World feel here, but then the peppery finesse kicks in, along with a fresh fragrant (sandalwood?) element. Good now, better in 2 years. S(-)

Abbott’s & Delaunay Cumulo Nimbus Minervois 2011, Languedoc, France (£16.99 Averys)
A bigger, richer, heartier style than the Crozes, but there’s still plenty of herby freshness and nuances of orange peel and gingerbread alongside the bold blackberry flavours. Rich in flavour, but never turns baked or overripe, I like this. S

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