Domaine Equis 2018 'Equinoxe' Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley, France

Domaine Equis 2018 'Equinoxe' Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley, France

Domaine Equis (Graillot)

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Domaine Equis 2018 'Equinoxe' Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley, France

Winemaker: Maxime Graillot
Farming: Organic
Variety: Syrah
Terroir: Granite and sandy clay
Vinification: Hand-harvested fruit from primarily young vines at Domaine des Lises undergo skin contact for 4 to 5 days (1 part 100% skin contact/1 part 100% whole cluster). After several days of maceration, the wine undergoes a 20- to 30-day fermentation period including malolactic in concrete tank and large wooden tronconique vats with a degree of carbonic maceration. Aside from one or two pumpovers to homogenize or aerate, extraction is done entirely by hand with punch downs once or twice a day. 
Aging: Large neutral vats
Tasting Note:
Scores: 91 points, Vinous - "Dark, shimmering ruby. Fragrant dark berry and floral scents are sharpened by hints of cracked pepper and smoky bacon. Bitter cherry, cassis and dark chocolate flavors show good depth as well as energy and pick up a licorice nuance on the back half. Finishes long and chewy, with youthfully grippy tannins and a lingering suggestion of bitter chocolate. This one will reward a little patience."

Maxime Graillot - son of the famed winemaker, Alain Graillot - has not only taken over the daily operations of his father's estate, but also founded a boutique label called Domaine Equis with his business partner, Thomas Schmittel, to express how the farmer is as much a part of the terroir as the soil and vines. They accomplish this goal by working closely with quality growers to remain in sync with every aspect of the winemaking process – vinifying, aging, bottling and marketing – similar to a négociant.

Maxime and Thomas pay close attention to what is happening in the vineyard all year long, decide when to harvest, the way they harvest and the way they make the wine once back at the winery (in Pont de l’Isère). They are very hands-on and take the time to have a relationship with the growers.

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