alain graillot crozes-hermitage red 2017
Northern Rhone 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'Isere, about 6 km south of Tain-l'Hermitage. He is now considered one of the most highly sought-after producers in the Northern Rhone due to his exuberant, robust and impeccably made Syrah-based wines.
SOIL: The Crozes-Hermitage vineyards are close by, on the flat, rocky land between the Isere and Rhone rivers. The best sites are at Les Chassis and Les Sept Chemins. Around Pont de l'Isere, the soil is formed from alluvial deposits of sand, gravel, rocks and stones. Despite being flat, it drains exceedingly well.
VINIFICATION & AGEING: All the grapes (100% organic, syrah) are hand-harvested, from severely-pruned, low-yielding vines. The red Crozes-Hermitage grapes are not destemmed, i.e. 100% whole-cluster. They are loaded into lined concrete vats, and temperatures are brought down to 18C for a 2 to 5 day pre-fermentation maceration. Once vinifications (indigenous yeast) get going, temperatures rise to 30C, and cuvaison lasts 15 to 21 days. Aged for one year - 80% of them in one to 3 year old oak barrels, the remaining 20% in vat. They are given a light filtration but no fining before bottling.
TASTING: "Dark red; blackberry-bacon fat, cigarette ash airs on the nose, raspberry in back. It's a bit sudden for now, needs to expand, amplify. There's good grain on the palate, clear fruit with a smoky style; it runs openly, doesn't carry enormous stuffing, shows oak traces. It doesn't move quite consecutively along the palate. There's some coolness from the stems in a lightly chewy close, blueberry fruit there. It needs leaving until spring 2020." - courtesy of DrinkRhone.com.
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