Domaine Alain Graillot is the undisputed king of Crozes-Hermitage. Having consistently produced an honest reflection of the Northern Rhône for 25 years, Alain’s son Maxime Graillot took over from him in 2008. The wines however are still made in an elegant, old-school style. Favouring savouriness and fragrance over oak and sweetness, whole bunch fermentation is key with the Graillot’s organically-farmed, old vine Syrah.
Crozes-Hermitage is the largest appellation in the Northern Rhône and stretches from the back end of Hermitage hill over flatter and more sandy soils. It can be rather variable and tough in cooler vintages but it proliferates in warmer conditions. John Livingstone-Learmonth, a Rhône authority, writes that the 2015 vintage is ‘one to match the best years of the 20th Century in the Northern Rhône’. Classicists may find the austerity of the 2014s more attractive than the richness of the 2015s but there is no question as to their phenomenal power and balance.
The Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage 2015 is off the charts and may end up trumping the greats of 2010, ‘09 or ‘05. It is a muscular wine with a riper fruit profile, melded with savoury meatiness and a perfumed complexity. Try it now but leave a case in the cellar for up to 2 decades. This is a no-brainer for those who love Northern Rhône.
We also have small volumes of the barrel-selection La Guiraude 2015 available.
Come and taste the 2015 Rhônes with us in Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Johannesburg. We will taste 14 top wines across 7 appellations from Graillot, Perret, Chapoutier, Grand Veneur, Verzier, Clape and Jamet. Rhône lovers should not miss this! Browse our full list of 2015 Rhône wines.
Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage 2015 – R 395
Clean, plummy and vibrant, the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage is medium-bodied and crisp, with bright fruit flavours, touches of pomegranate, and a fine, velvety mouthfeel. It should drink well for at least a decade. Drink: 2020 – 2035. – Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, 92/100