2018 Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude
  • 92

2018 Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude

Crozes Hermitage, Northern Rhone, FRANCE
$120. 00 Bottle
$1440.00 Dozen
ABV: 13.5%
Closure: Cork

Alain Graillot has proved beyond a doubt that it is possible to make rich wines from the gently sloped alluvial plain where the Isère River meets the Rhone. His concentrated reds demonstrate all that is exciting about the Syrah grape: black fruit, intense aromaticity, pepper and spice complexity underpinned by crisp acidity and fine tannins.

Graillot works organically, harvesting fruit by hand and fermenting in whole bunches. He chooses to age his wines in used barrels, one to three-years-old, purchased from Burgundy’s best estates. His Crozes-Hermitage is difficult to resist young. Despite the tannins that inevitably come from the inclusion of whole bunches in fermentation, Graillot wines are seldom hard-edged, overly tannic, or in need of extended cellaring. In fact, they are often flat-out delicious very soon after release. That being said, their track record for rewarding patient cellaring is exemplary.

La Guiraude is a tête de cuvée, a barrel selection made only in vintages where it is felt there are some barrels that exhibit particularly intense and age-worthy personalities. Not necessarily a ‘better’ wine than the Domaine Crozes, it is typically more powerful and in need of longer cellaring.

Other Reviews....
Looking considerably more roasted in style than the 2019, the 2018 Crozes Hermitage la Guiraude features notes of grilled dark-skinned plums and savory black olives. It's full-bodied, rich and velvety, but with its layers of super ripe, slightly cooked fruit, it should probably be consumed in its first decade, despite having plenty of concentration and tannin. Drink 2022 - 2030.
92+? points
Joe Czerwinski - Wine Advocate (Jan 2022)