Côtes-du-Rhône: Domaine Alain Graillot 'Clos Somi' 2019
This first vintage of the Graillot (of Crozes-Hermitage fame) family’s 'Clos Somi' hails from the tiny village of Aigueze on the Ardèche river in the Gard region. Part of the wider Côtes-du-Rhône appellation, it’s known for characteristically typical yet good value wines. This Southern Rhône blend of equal parts Cinsault, Grenache Noir and Syrah is brightly-fruited with fresh acidity and lovely depth and concentration. Santé!
2019 heralded the first commercial vintage from a tiny 1.2ha old-vine vineyard acquired by the Graillot family primarily for its olive orchard. Planted to Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah in roughly equal proportions, it is farmed using organic methods but not certified as such.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Côtes du Rhône|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah|
|Food & Wine Matching||Casserole, Lamb, Mushrooms, Pasta, Pork|
|Cellarage||This wine should cellar well for up to 5 years from vintage.|
|Vinification||Hand-picked, destemmed and co-fermented in cement vats for a fortnight. No added sulphites and matured in 1500 litre foudres for 9 months before a July bottling.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||14.1|
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% Marsanne 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 wines 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.
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