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Julien Cecillon VDF Syrah Les Graviers 2019


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From the importer: Les Graviers is a négociant blend of Syrah from three vineyard sites in the Rhône Valley. The majority of fruit comes from the southern parts of the Drôme and Ardèche regions, and a smaller amount comes from vineyards around Tournon. Les Graviers means gravel, which is a reference to the humble-yet-essential stone used in everyday life. The name has a few other meanings to Cecillon: First, the winery was a former gravel warehouse, and second, the market square in Tournon where Julien grew up is called Place des Graviers.
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Cecillon is fairly new, founded just in 2011. It is a partnership between Julien, the nephew of the great Jean-Louis Grippat (who has been known to bike around the vineyards making sure things are in order), and his wife Nancy Kerschen, from Texas. The couple is based in Tournon, in St. Joseph, and this provides the core of their production, but as you'll see in the range below they also go slightly further afield.

Julien says that his influences are Gonon and Chave. Those are good choices! When I tasted his wines, there was a definite resemblance. Gonon and Chave are sometimes lumped in with old-schoolers like Verset or Gentaz, but these are really separate categories. While Verset and Gentaz make wines that celebrate the wildness of Syrah and ultra-traditional wine-making, Gonon and Chave aim for wines that are more elegant and approachable and show more fruit purity, while still remaining true to their terroir.

Julien is in that latter camp. These are wines that communicate their specific terroirs with precision and a whole lot of prettiness. They are accessible but still offer intensity. The St. Joseph and Cornas will surely age, though I'm starting to drink my bottles right away. They certainly do not require a PhD in the Northern Rhône to appreciate, yet even the geekiest among you will find much to love.


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Style

    Earthy , Fruity , Spicy

  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Medium Bodied

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