Crozes Hermitage Rouge: Alain Graillot 2011

Alain Graillot’s success has been built on his ability to produce affordable and readily approachable wines, typified by this red Crozes Hermitage which dominates his production. With attractive red-berry aromas a deep ruby/purple colour and a palate of dark, plummy fruit, black-pepper, olives and moderate tannins, this is a forward drinking Syrah of great charm and value.

Crozes Hermitage Rouge: Alain Graillot 2011
Crozes Hermitage Rouge: Alain Graillot 2011

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Crozes Hermitage Rouge: Alain Graillot 2011

Alain Graillot's world-renowned red Crozes Hermitage has a beguiling bouquet of black hedgerow berries a wealth of ripe damson and dark plum tastes, a good palate-cleansing acidity and fine-grained tannins. It drinks well from bottling but will mature happily for a decade or longer in the best vintages.

Alain Graillot

Alain Graillot

Alain Graillot left a career in agro-chemicals in 1985 to follow a dream with a rented parcel of vines, on the site of a former pig farm, on the Chassis plateau between Tain l’Hermitage and Pont l’Isère in the appellation of Crozes Hermitage in the Northern Rhône. Today Alain is one of the most widely respected wine-makers in the Rhône valley whose wines grace the list of France’s finest restaurants and who counts many celebrated wine-makers among his circle of friends. The Graillot philosophy is as simple as it is successful – to produce appealing, sensibly-priced wines that people will want to drink. Today Alain’s vineyard is comprised of 17.3 hectares of Syrah vines and 2.6 hectares of Marsanne and Roussanne vines (planted in a ratio of 80% Marasanne to 20% Roussanne) which surround his cellars at Les Chênes Verts. This is a great source of clean but characterful, fruit-accentuated red and white Crozes Hermitage for gratifying forward drinking. In favourable vintages Alain also produces small volumes of a more age-worthy, denser Crozes Hermitage called ‘La Guiraude’. Minimal volumes of Saint Joseph and Hermitage are also made. Since 2004 Alain’s son Maxime (born in 1977) has followed in his father’s footsteps and has been producing a fruity red Crozes Hermitage from a neighbouring 6.5 hectare vineyard at Beaumont-Monteux.

  • Style: Red Wine, Dry (Sec), Medium-bodied
  • Region: RhoneCrozes-Hermitage
  • Producer: Alain Graillot
  • Vintage: 2011
  • Grape variety (Cépage): Syrah
  • Wine pairing - drink with: Duck, Pheasant and Game
  • Cellarage: This wine is suited to medium-term drinking at 2-5 years of age but can keep well for at least a decade in superior vintages.
  • Vinification: Grapes are vinified with their stems (20-30% whole grapes) for three weeks in stainless steel vats, preceded by a cold maceration without sulphur. The wine is then racked off its lees with up to 50% being aged in small young Burgundy casks before being blended and bottled a year or so later.
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 13.5%

What others think of this wine...

Steven Spurrier - Decanter, March 2014 says:Graillot vinifies non-destalked grapes as this allows a longer fermentation for denser fruit / terroir expression. Crushed berry and black pepper nose, firm fruit that will smooth out superbly well. Drink 2015-2025

The Wine Gang - says:As ever, Crozes star Alain Graillot has made a classic Crozes Syrah even in a less good year, or less good than the previous two. It’s less plump than 2009 and a little less intense than 2010, but the red berry fruit, crushed black peppercorn and bay leaf flavours are all there and the wine should flesh out a touch in the coming months. (89 points).

Team Jancis Robinson, Purple Pages. says:Mid crimson. Engaging perfume. Bone dry. Silky texture. Very juicy. Not intense but friendly. 16/20. Drink 2013-2016.

Jamie Goode -, 27/09/2013 says:Is this Graillot’s best yet? It’s sensational. Ripe yet fresh meaty, raspberry and cherry fruit nose with a hint of black olive and pepper. The palate is fresh and ripe with raspberry and plum fruit, some grippy tannins and black pepper spiciness. It could only have come from the northern Rhône and it’s beautifully balanced, with good acidity keeping it fresh. 95/100

Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate, December 2012. says:As for the red wines, the charming 2011 Crozes Hermitage offers loads of strawberry and cherry fruit, good ripeness, a creamy texture, medium body, good freshness and an up-front, evolved style that suggests drinking it over the next 5-6 years.