Crozes-Hermitage: Alain Graillot 'La Guiraude' Rouge 2018
"Looking considerably more roasted in style than the 2019, the 2018 Crozes Hermitage la Guiraude features notes of grilled dark-skinned plums and savory black olives. It's full-bodied, rich and velvety, but with its layers of super ripe, slightly cooked fruit, it should probably be consumed in its first decade, despite having plenty of concentration and tannin. Drink 2022 - 2030. 92+/100."
Joe Czerwinski - The Wine Advocate.
Crozes' legend Alain Graillot produces just 500 cases of this patron's cuvée, called 'La Guiraude', and only in good vintages. This selection of the top barrels (not destemmed and aged for longer) is denser, more textured and more age-worthy than the main wine.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Syrah|
|Food & Wine Matching||Duck, Lamb, Mushrooms, Pheasant and Game|
|Cellarage||This Crozes-Hermitage rouge is suited to medium-term drinking at 2 to 5 years of age but can keep well for at least a decade in superior vintages.|
|Vinification||Grapes are vinified with their stems (20 to 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 (%)||13.5|
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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