Pierre Gaillard Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Pierre Gaillard son of a railwayman, yet at 12 years he had already planted his own vines and plowed the vineyards on horseback. He then followed a course studied viticulture and oenology in Burgundy . he started as vineyard manager in the Rhone valley, but soon he feels the need to plant his own vineyards. In 1981 he planted the Clos de Cuminaille then gradually bought and replanted different hills across the northern Rhone Valley. Today, Pierre Gaillard produces Cote Rotie, St Joseph, Condrieu, Cornas, Crozes Hermitage and St Peray on a farm of 25ha. He also extended Faugères, Banyuls and Collioure where the shale slopes remind him of the Côte Rôtie. His wife and children followed in his adventure and now are in family areas managing vineyards…each bringing his jurisdiction to that of the vine to the glass everything happens for the best.
Crozes-Hermitage is Northern Rhone’s largest appellation, surrounding the steep granite faces of Hermitage to its north and south. Here the rolling vineyards are less extreme and its soils, rich in clay-limestone and alluvial matter, produce Syrahs that range from fruity and charming to lush and seductive. The Syrahs of Crozes-Hermitage have more mass than those from St. Joseph but are less intense than those from Hermitage. While many are intended for early consumption, some of the best Syrahs from Crozes-Hermitage will age beautifully for 5-10 years.
Up to 15% of white grapes may theoretically be added to red Crozes at the time of fermentation but whether this is done or not depends on the decision of the winemaker. The best Crozes-Hermitage Syrahs will be fleshy with black fruit (currant, blackberry and black cherry) and bay leaf qualities, notes of tar and stone, and a well-concentrated finish of smooth tannins.
About a tenth of the wine produced in Crozes-Hermitage is white, primarily composed of Marsanne supplemented by smaller amounts of Roussanne.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”