Alain Graillot Crozes Hermitage Rouge 2007
Syrah/Shiraz from Rhone, France
The 1999 vintage of this wine was ranked #8 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2001
Average age of the vines: 25 years old (some of the Hermitage vines are now 80 years old) Soil : Around Pont de l'Isère, the soil is formed from alluvial deposits of sand, gravel, rocks and stones. Despite being flat, it drains exceedingly well. The Hermitage holdings are on hard granite slopes.
With attractive red-berry aromas a deep ruby/purple colour and a palate of dark, plummy fruit, black-pepper, olives and moderate tannins, this is a forward drinking Syrah of great charm and value.
Wine Spectator - "Densely packed for the vintage, with briar, tapenade, maduro tobacco, bittersweet cocoa and crushed blackberry fruit all weaving around muscular tannins. Tangy, mineral-filled finish has latent length. For the cellar. Best from 2010 through 2016. 7,250 cases made. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Wild, pungent aromas of raspberry, smoked meat, tarragon and Indian spices. Then tight and minerally in the mouth, offering sweet red berry and floral flavors and a hint of smoked game. The long finish is tangy, focused and alluringly spicy. Open-knit and expressive right now but my experience with this bottling, which goes back almost 20 years, suggests it will be even better with a few years of bottle aging and drink well until 2017. The 1988, 1989 and 1990 versions are all delicious right now, by the way."
Domaine Alain Graillot Winery
Alain Graillot is well known to wine lovers throughout the world, and is universally regarded as one of the most talented producers not only in the Rhône, but in the whole of France. What is extraordinary is that he has built his reputation and fame in just 15 short years, and in an appellation that was until recently seriously despised by the cognoscenti. He has proved that even (or should we say particularly) from the flat land near the Isère river confluence, it is possible to make rich, concentrated reds that demonstrate everything that is exciting about the Syrah grape - the explosive black fruit, the aromatic intensity, the pepper and spice complexity, all supported by crisp acidity and good tannins. They are difficult to resist young, but patient cellaring is well-rewarded.
Graillot began making wine in 1985, having tired of life as Marketing Manager for a large French agricultural equipment company. He was lucky to benefit from the advice of friends such as Paul Jaboulet, Jean-Louis Grippat, and Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, and immediately struck vinous gold. This led him, in 1988, to buy the vineyards he had previously rented, to which he has since added land in Saint-Joseph and even a few vines on the Hermitage hill - just enough to make 2 barrels a year!
The quality of Graillot wines is now legendary, and he has become the father-figure to a whole new generation of young Rhône producers. And if appellations such as Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph now offer some of the best wine values in the Rhône, it is in no little part thanks to Alain's groundbreaking work. View all Domaine Alain Graillot Wines
About Other RhôneOther appellations of the Rhône include: in the North – St-Péray, Chateau Grillet; in the South – Lirac, Côtes du Ventoux, Côtes du Tricastin, Rasteau
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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