Jeb Dunnuck 91
"I continue to love what this estate does, and the 2017 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine Des Lises is no exception. Revealing a deep purple color as well as notes of plums, blackberries, ground pepper, and leafy herbs and spring flowers, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a lively, vibrant texture, good acidity, and an overall balanced, classy style. Readers looking for a juicy, well-made Northern Rhône Syrah to drink over the coming 7-8 years should snatch this up."
The 2017 Crozes Hermitage delivers scents of road tar, black olives and blackberries. The tannins are silky, the acids fresh, the overall impact delicious. This medium to full-bodied wine should be ready to drink on release and drink well for 6-7 years."
From the lieu dit ‘Les Picheres’ in the famed Beaumont Monteux commune of Crozes-Hermitage. 35+ year old vines
Gravel soils that are low in clay, allowing for fast draining
Manually ploughed vineyards – roots dig deeper
100% hand harvested
Aged in older Burgundy barrels (provided by DRC)
There are few names as revered in the Northern Rhône 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, Alain’s 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 father’s domaine and establishing his own namesake winery. Knowing where the best land in the Rhône was to be found, he purchased parcels in the village of Beaumont-Monteux, just south of Alain’s 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 Alain’s wines, Maxime’s 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 Rhône 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.