March 2006

The Rhone Range “Radio-Coteau is a colloquial French expression meaning “word of mouth” that winemaker Eric Sussman heard when he was living and working in Burgundy. For Sussman, the term represents growers found by word of mouth and a commitment to community and place, something he tries to express in his wines. Sussman doesn’t only make Syrah—the Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels under his label are equally stellar—but the Syrah Russian River Valley Timbervine 2002 (91, $45, 300 cases), an intense and richly flavored wine, demonstrates his commitment to coastal vineyards in Northern California. “Syrah in cooler climates have really good fruit intensity, really good spice,” says Sussman. “It’s not about making lots of wine, it’s about making really good wine.””

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