Alain Graillot, chemical industry executive turned farmer, is showing how good Crozes-Hermitage really can be. The 1999 vintage of his special cuvée, La Guiraude, is a powerful, but bright wine, full of red fruits and firm tannins and balancing acidity. Raisins and rich fruit join the mixture that goes to make an immediately enticing wine, but one that should age…
A densely colored wine from this small estate, bought by Jaboulet Aîné in 1995. It is a great expression of Syrah, with aromas of ripe, concentrated fruits, dense tannins and flavors of new wood, spices and hedgerow fruits. It is a wine of great complexity, showing enormous aging potential.
Not a typical Crozes-Hermitage, Jaboulet’s Domaine de Roure is a showcase for what the appellation is capable of. In this vintage, it’s a full-bodied yet not overly structured wine, with a huge Syrah nose of meat, pepper, plum and baking spices and lingering espresso and black olives on the finish. Drink now–2020.
Despite this wine’s thick veneer of toasty, vanilla-scented oak, it has plenty of underlying fruit, powerful enough to handle the wood. It’s full bodied, dense and richly textured, with a long, velvety finish redolent of blackberries and cedar. Approachable now, but should easily age through 2025.
This blend of Marsanne and Roussanne comes across as something of a hybrid between Hermitage and Burgundy. It has grilled peach, citrus and smoke notes, ample weight and a long, hazelnut-tinged finish. Drink it over the next 6–8 years.
This full-bodied, creamy Crozes-Hermitage far outpaces expectations for the appellation, combining cherry-berry fruit with cracked pepper, mocha and licorice. Then it finishes long, anchored by a marriage of fruit and spice. It’s ready to drink now, but should evolve positively through at least 2017.
Very few Crozes manage to be mini-Hermitages, but this one succeeds admirably. Honeyed ripeness comes through, along with scents of truffle and anise in this full-bodied white, and although the finish shows a bit of toasty oak at this stage, the fruit sings longest and loudest in the end. Drink now-2020.
A wine with seeming universal appeal. It's medium to full, with a finely textured palate full of interesting olive, coffee, spice, herbs and garrigue. It has firm, proper acidity to offset any weight or pudginess, and the finish is long and layered. Drinkable now but easily ageable for another 5 years.