Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage 1920 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
Some dates are the starting point of great adventures. The Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage "1920" - a great Syrah wine from Rhone Valley - pays a tribute to the winemaker Louis Pasquion who acquired his first Syrah vines in that year. Today his great-grandson Gilles Robin gives all his passion for this noble Syrah variety and creates one of the greatest Rhone Valley wines.
A blend of 8 specifically-selected "demi-muids" from separate plots, 1920 always comes from noble and great origins. From an exceptional terroir, this great Syrah wine from Rhone Valley is not available every year. This 1920 (vintage 2005) was created with grapes of perfect ripeness and ultimate concentration. Vinified for 18 months in small oak barrels, only 2000 bottles and 200 magnums will fully reveal the secrets of this great vintage over time.
Wine Spectator - "Very racy, with coffee-tinged toast framing the sanguine, black cherry, lavender and mineral notes. The long, focused finish is driven by its minerality, with nice buried grip and alluring black tea and roasted fig notes. Drink now through 2014."
International Wine Cellar - "Saturated ruby. Finely detailed bouquet of cherry-cola, cassis, violet and cured tobacco. Dense yet lively, with sweet dark berry flavors and fine-grained tannins. Black olive and candied floral qualities arrive with air and carry through the long, juicy finish. I'd resist opening this for at least another four or five years. "
Gilles Robin Winery
Although the Cave Coopérative de Tain l’Hermitage is one of France’s best, every year young and dynamic growers leave this cooperation to make and bottle wines themselves. One of them is Gilles Robin who started his own domaine in 1996. His vineyards are located in the appellation of Crozes-Hermitage where over 11 hectares of Syrah is planted on the stony and sandy ‘La Terrace de Chassis’. The soil of this plain is rich in round ‘galets‘ on brown clay-limestone, producing showy wines that are round and fruit-driven. The ruby coloured Cuvée Papillon is an excellent example of this style with a nose of ripe plums and prunes, mulberry, violets and olives. The palate is round and pliant with lots of ripe fruit upfront that slowly stretches to a spicy finish. The springy character of the youthful fruit is further enhanced by a short – about 6 months – élévage on oak. This is really different and interesting drinking. View all Gilles Robin Wines
About Hermitage(EHR-me-tahj) and Crozés-Hermitage (krohz EHR-me-tahj)
Notable FactsSyrah is the only varietal permitted in the red wines, while whites are typically blends of both Marsanne and Roussanne. All three varieties grow on the Hermitage hill. The red wines of Hermitage are powerful, age-worthy wines, often commanding prices similar to those of top Bordeaux. They are big in fruit and tight in tannins, but with a few years of age (from three years to three decades) they are beautifully complex, perfumed and sensuous. Their whites are somewhat mineral-driven, and depending on the blend, may have an almost oily texture (in a good way!).
Like the island of Manhattan, once all the land of Hermitage is gone, the land is gone – hard to create sprawl from an already established hill. So winemakers planted in the vineyards surrounding Hermitage, in the much larger and flatter appellation of Crozés-Hermitage. The area produces wines of the same make-up of Hermitage – reds from Syrah, whites from Marsanne and Roussanne. Red wines are allowed up to 15% of the white varieties. Some of the reds are full of fruit flavor and ready to drink now, while others are trying to follow Hermitage, by making wines with lots of power and longevity. The whites are few, but enjoyable with good fruit and the same texture of those from Hermitage.
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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