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?" In Crozes-Hermitage, there is only one reference point: Alain Graillot. Alain Graillot was one of Northern Rhone’s greatest winemakers. His first vintage was 1985 and it was not long before he became the reference-point producer of Crozes-Hermitage. Unfortunately, he passed away in March of 2022. May he rest in peace. His son, Maxime, has been working with Alain for many years and we know that he will maintain the estate's high standards for quality and rigorous respect for tradition.The Graillot’s Crozes Hermitage is such a pure and uncomplicated version of Northern Rhone Syrah that it is the perfect wine for conveying the essence of the region. And it is so universally considered delicious that we are always extremely confident that the customer will end up thoroughly satisfied.Yet it is also old Northern Rhone hands that keep coming back for more. Graillot's wines may be explosively pleasurable right out of the bottle, but they also have the nuance and complexity that us Northern Rhone geeks crave. These are wines that unfold over time, both in the decanter and, ideally, over the course of a few years of cellaring. Graillot's vines are located in a site named Chassis, which is directly across the Rhone river from the famous St. Joseph village of Mauves. Just north of Chassis is the great hill of Hermitage, where two of the Northern Rhone's great terroirs -- granite from the Massif Central and glacial deposits from the Alps -- collide. Well, just to the south, there is no collision, as the river separates the hard granite of Mauve's vineyards from the very stony Alpine vineyards of Graillot in Chassis. It produces a fresher Syrah that perhaps explains the wine's elegance and accessibility, its "outstanding lift and clarity". Wine-making helps: like the top names across the river, Graillot employs traditional techniques like whole cluster fermentation and aging in neutral barrels.
Earthy , Fruity , Minerally