Gilles Robin Crozes-Hermitage Cuvee Papillon 2007
Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
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 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, from an excellent vintage.
Wine Spectator - "Fresh, with bright acidity carrying red cherry, damson plum and red licorice notes through the medium-weight finish. The nice fleshy texture stays focused. Drink now through 2012. "
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 HermitageView a map of Hermitage wineries (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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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