Crozes-Hermitage: Alain Graillot Rouge 2020
This world-renowned red Crozes-Hermitage is Alain Graillot's principal wine in terms of production, and hails from mature Syrah rootstock on the 'Les Chassis' plateau. It has an intense black fruit bouquet and plump palate of dark, hedgerow berries, a good palate-cleansing acidity and fine-grained tannins.
Drinking well now, this much-celebrated wine will mature happily for a decade or more in good vintages such as this.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Syrah|
|Food & Wine Matching||Chicken and Turkey, Duck, 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|
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 the Domaine has a reputation for being one of the leading Crozes-Hermitage growers and having trained many more vignerons who have taken Alain's expertise and winemaking philosophy to heart. That includes Alain's sons Antoine and Maxime who together have run the domaine somewhat interchangeably for the last couple of decades. Alain passed away in 2022 but Domaine Alain Graillot remains one of the most widely respected producers in the Rhône valley and their wines grace the lists of France's finest restaurants. The Graillot philosophy is as simple as it is successful – to produce appealing, sensibly-priced wines that people will want to drink.
Today, the Domaine vineyards are comprised of 18 hectares of Syrah vines and 2 hectares of Marsanne and Roussanne vines (planted in a ratio of 80% Marsanne to 20% Roussanne) which surround their 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, Antoine and Maxime also produce small volumes of a more age-worthy, denser Crozes-Hermitage called 'La Guiraude'. Minimal volumes of Saint-Joseph and Hermitage are also made. Both sons are involved in a number of winemaking projects using bought-in fruit for their 'Equis' and 'Domaine des Lises' bottlings in the Northern Rhône. In 2019, they acquired a small farm in the Ardèche and make a tiny amount of Côtes du Rhône under the 'Clos Somi' label, to add to 'Domaine de Fa' in Beaujolais (since 2013) plus their long-standing partnerships with growers in Spain and Morocco.
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Crozes Hermitage: Alain Graillot - Yapp Brothers One Minute Review
Jason Yapp reviews the red Crozes Hermitage from Alain Graillot - a cornerstone of the Yapp Brothers list and a benchmark of the appellation.Yapp Brothers Videos