Alain Graillot 2020 Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone Valley, France
Northern Rhône native, Alain Graillot, is recognized for his passion of Syrah. Prior to starting his own domaine, Alain worked in Burgundy, where he received guidance from the reputable Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac. In 1985, Alain founded Domaine Alain Graillot just outside the village of Pont de l’Isère, about 6 km south of Tain-l’Hermitage. He is now considered one of the most highly sought-after producers in the Northern Rhône due to his exuberant, robust and impeccably made Syrah-based wines. The family has a total of 22 ha under vine, with only 3 ha planted to white grapes.
Beginning with the 2008 vintage, Alain’s son, Maxime Graillot, owner of Domaine Equis, took on the role of running his well-respected father’s Domaine in addition to his own. The red wines that Maxime produces under his father’s label maintain a traditional appeal of using stems and whole-cluster to add structure and longevity.
WINEMAKER: Maxime Graillot
VARIETIES: 100% Syrah
VINEYARD/TERROIR NOTES: 30+-year-old vines in Crozes-Hermitage, planted on well-drained, flat alluvial plains between the Rhône and Isère Rivers
VINIFICATION NOTES: Hand harvested. The red Crozes-Hermitage grapes are not destemmed. They are loaded into lined concrete vats, and temperatures are brought down to 18°C (64.4F) for a 2 to 5-day pre-fermentation maceration. Once vinifications get going, temperatures rise to 30°C, and skin maceration lasts 15 to 21 days. The young wines are aged for one year - 80% of them in one to 3-year-old oak barrels, the remaining 20% in a vat. They are given a light filtration but no fining before bottling.
TASTING NOTES: Generally beloved by sommeliers all over, Graillot's Crozes-Hermitage is the benchmark representation for Syrah from this appellation. Generally medium to full-bodied, the wine brims with lush and slightly tannic notes of ripe plum skin, black currants, crushed fennel seed, and aromatic notes of violet flower and smoked black tea. Simply put: if you love Syrah, you will love this wine.
SCORES / ACCOLADES:
- Wine Advocate 92 pts