Vinous Media 91
"Dark, shimmering ruby. Fragrant dark berry and floral scents are sharpened by hints of cracked pepper and smoky bacon. Bitter cherry, cassis and dark chocolate flavors show good depth as well as energy and pick up a licorice nuance on the back half. Finishes long and chewy, with youthfully grippy tannins and a lingering suggestion of bitter chocolate. This one will reward a little patience.
-- Josh Raynolds"
From the heart of Crozes-Hermitage
Near the site of Domaine des Lises in the commune of Beaumont Monteux
100 hand harvested
Grown on gravel and sand based terroir
Aged in 6 year old 40 hectoliter tronconique wood
There are few names as revered in the Northern Rhne as the name Graillot. It was in 1985 that the legendary Alain Graillot, who after working with Jacques Seysses at Domaine Dujac, came back to his home in Crozes-Hermitage to start his own domaine. With each passing year, his devotion to the art of making hauntingly delicious Syrah has been rewarded with an ever growing and highly dedicated following around the world. And so it would seem quite the daunting task for the child of such a luminary to follow in the footsteps of such a giant. Well luckily for us and the wine world, Alains eldest son Maxime Graillot not only continued the legacy started by his father, he also blazed his own trail in winemaking excellence.
Maxime trained under his father from a young age and in 2004 decided to split his time between his fathers domaine and establishing his own namesake winery. Knowing where the best land in the Rhne was to be found, he purchased parcels in the village of Beaumont-Monteux, just south of Alains plots in La Chene Vert. He converted the previously conventionally farmed vineyards to organics, making sure to soils were constantly ploughed (allowing the roots to dig deep into the gravel) and banned the use of herbicides. The results were incredible from the start. Compared to Alains wines, Maximes are similarly exuberant and expressive, but perhaps with a bit more fruit power behind them possibly a result of Maxime de-stemming nearly all of his grapes, whereas Alain does not de-stem. They possess an effortless grace and charm that has become a staple of the Graillot style. Any lover of Northern Rhne wines owe it to themselves to pop a bottle, and be enveloped in the warm embrace of pure Syrah bliss.
Farming Practice:Practicing Organic
Domaine des Lises - M. GraillotView all from Domaine des Lises - M. Graillot
Alain Graillot founded his domaine in Crozes-Hermitage in 1985, and rapidly became one of the most in-demand producers in the Northern Rhone for his exuberant, robust, and complete Syrah-based wines. Alain owns 50 acres of 30-year-old Crozes-Hermitage vines on the flat alluvial plain between the Rhône and Isère rivers, in well-draining soils of sand, gravel, and stones. He also has two tiny parcels in St. Joseph, from which he makes a slightly fresher, more early-drinking wine than the remarkable Crozes-Hermitage that constitutes the majority of his production.
Alain harvests by hand and works organically, employing whole-cluster fermentation and aging the wines primarily in 1-to-3 year old barrels purchased from some of the top estates in Burgundy. In great years, he makes tiny quantities of a barrel selection knows as "La Guiraude," a rare and spectacular wine. Graillot's wines are structured, but still very appealing and approachable in their youth, and their longevity is truly remarkable... These are must-haves for any serious Northern Rhone fan.