My first ever blog was actually inspired by the Rhône, the amazing Justerini & Brooks en primeur tasting last year. This is a region that has inspired me from the off, intriguing wines, wine after wine!
So many styles and so many characters – modern, traditional, young, old, maverick and recluse. The Rhône has it all! You could say its the same thing that got me hooked on the wines of the Côte d ‘Or, one grape variety but yet so many personalities.
It’s just so intriguing. The plains, soils and the new movements that hit the area in the ’80s. It’s just so exciting.
Syrah at its best. Best of all there is still value to be had.
2010 – near perfect conditions, early harvests and short fermentations. 2010’s being slightly leaner than the masculine 2009’s.
Alain Graillot, Crozes Hermitage 2010, with his just under 17.5ha.
Another youngster in the world of wine, gave up the high-powered job to make a darn good Syrah. A real thrill seeker in every sense.
Whole bunch, natural yeasts and no added sulphur during fermentation. Mainly concrete vats and 6yr old casks, oh and the vines have reached at least the ripe old age of 30 (good foundations for any wine, don’t you think?) Alain manages to provide richness but also keep that beautiful natural acidity.
Bright ruby with a distinct hint of purple. The nose surprisingly ripe and meaty. Marmite/Beef extract. Boiled sweets and Sour Cherry, underlying sweet tobacco or a touch of rubbery smoke? Brambles and blueberry. Delicate notes of Rose and Iris. A salty olive undertone helps balance all that opulence.
Tannins are dense but fine-grained and very ripe. Alcohol generous without being too warm.
If I had to fault it, it would be its lack of elegance but then that extremely long finish provides a flinty mineral lift.
Anapproachable wine, with great potential and all that for under £20.00 at Yapp Brothers, Wiltshire