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What exactly does it mean to be a reference point wine? Is it just a synonym for "good" or "really good?" Does it mean, "old and established" or "expensive and difficult to find?"
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In Crozes-Hermitage, there is only one reference point: Alain Graillot.
Clearly, then, "reference point" does not mean old, for Graillot has only been around since 1985. It also does not mean expensive: Graillot's Crozes-Hermitage remains one of the best values in the Northern Rhône, in just about every vintage.
Graillot’s wines are clean, pure and polished. They are delicious young, so it's tempting to think of them as modern. Yet, peek in the cellar, and you find nothing but tradition. They work with whole clusters and avoid new barriques, for example. It is through precision, good hygiene, and obsessive work in the fields that Graillot achieves these beautiful wines.