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Alain Graillot - Crozes-Hermitage 2021

All the grapes are hand-harvested, from severely-pruned, low-yielding vines. The red Crozes-Hermitage grapes are not destemmed, i.e. 100% whole-cluster. They are loaded into lined concrete vats, and temperatures are brought down to 18°C for a 2 to 5 day pre-fermentation maceration. Once vinifications (indigenous yeast) get going, temperatures rise to 30°C, and cuvaison lasts 15 to 21 days. Aged for one year - 80% of them in one to 3 year old oak barrels, the remaining 20% in vat. They are given a light filtration but no fining before bottling.

Alain Graillot Description

The late Alain Graillot is well known to wine lovers throughout the world, and was universally regarded as one of the most talented producers not only in the Rhône, but in the whole of France. What is extraordinary is that he built his reputation and fame in just 15 short years, and in an appellation that was until recently seriously despised by the cognoscenti. He proved that even (or should we say particularly) from the flat land near the Isère river confluence, it is possible to make rich, concentrated reds that demonstrate everything that is exciting about the Syrah grape - the explosive black fruit, the aromatic intensity, the pepper and spice complexity, all supported by crisp acidity and good tannins. They are difficult to resist young, but patient cellaring is well-rewarded.

Graillot began making wine in 1985, having tired of life as Marketing Manager for a large French agricultural equipment company. He was lucky to benefit from the advice of friends such as Paul Jaboulet, Jean-Louis Grippat, and Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac in Burgundy, and immediately struck vinous gold. This led him, in 1988, to buy the vineyards he had previously rented, to which he later added land in Saint-Joseph and even a few vines on the Hermitage hill - just enough to make 2 barrels a year!

The quality of Graillot wines has become legendary, and he became the father-figure to a whole new generation of young Rhône producers. And if appellations such as Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph now offer some of the best wine values in the Rhône, it is in no little part thanks to Alain's groundbreaking work.

James Suckling: 94 Points

A very pure and floral nose with cherries, violets and plums as well. Medium body with velvety tannins and bright acidity. Such a succulent core of redcurrants and violets with minerality and a transparent character to the focused finish. Drink or hold.

A View from the Cellar: 93 Points

"The 2021 Crozes-Hermitage from Domaine Alain Graillot is a superb wine (as always). The bouquet is deep, pure and precise, wafting from the glass in a mix of cassis, black raspberries, pepper, espresso, grilled meats, dark soil tones and a generous topnote of smokiness. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very elegant in profile, with an excellent core of black fruit, fine mineral drive and grip, fine-grained tannins and a long, complex well balanced and peppery finish. First class Crozes that deserves at least a handful of years in the cellar to soften up its backend tannins a bit. This is my favorite Graillot straight Crozes since the beautiful 1989 version! 2029-2055." (9/2023)

 
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Price: $46.99

Sale Price: $39.99

6+ Price: $37.50 / btl

Quantity Available: 60+ bottles
Producer Alain Graillot
Country France
Region Rhone Valley
Subregion Crozes Hermitage
Varietal Syrah
Vintage 2021
Sku 17750
Size 750ml
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