Domaine Equis, Maxime Graillot, Crozes Hermitage Rouge ‘Domaine des Lises’ 2017

£26.50 (75cl)

In stock

SKU: RHEQ0117C

About the wine

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About the producer

With Christian, our Director, having worked with Alain Graillot for a short period at the beginning of his career, we are thrilled to now be distributing his son, Maxime’s wines. Maxime is now in charge of Alain’s domaine and has added a small 6.5ha holding in Crozes Hermitage, Domaine des Lises, to the portfolio. His first vintage was 2004. This vineyard is located very near the village of Beaumont-Monteux in the most southeasterly part of the Crozes Hermitage appellation in a lieu-dit called les Pichéres. It is a cooler, later harvesting site than that of his father in Les Chêne Verts. The soils here are gravel and alluvial stones and are thus easy draining. This lends itself to fashioning a refined, aromatic style of Syrah with a marked minerality. Planted in the 1980s and 1990s, the vineyard was in a dilapidated state when Maxime first acquired it. He has subsequently converted to working the vines organically, manual harvesting and restricted low yields. Maxime also manages several other vineyards in Cornas, St Joseph and Crozes, selecting tiny parcels of the very best grapes to make his Equis range.

All wines are crafted in the same vein as those of his father’s estate, with an edge more size & fruit intensity – possibly a result of the fact that Maxime destems nearly all of his grapes, whereas Alain chooses not to do so. Whatever the differences might be, both seek to produce wines of finesse & intensity that clearly reflect their origins. The crop receives a pre-fermentation cooling for 3-5 days. Vinification lasts 3 weeks, with twice-daily cap punching. Barrel ageing lasts for 12-18 months in a mixture of used Burgundy barrels from domaines including Dujac, Arlot and Romanée-Conti – a third are one year-old, the rest a mix of 3 to 5 year-old barrels.

The ‘Equinoxe’ is a modern interpretation of Crozes Hermitage for early drinking, whilst the ‘Domaines des Lises’ & St Joseph tend to gain hugely in flavour after a year or two in bottle. Cornas is sourced predominantly from a parcel of 20-25 yr old vines located on the slopes of the fine lieu-dit, ‘Les Chaillots’, with the balance from old vine plots in ‘La Sabarotte’ & ‘La Côte’. All are hillside sites, where the soils are rich in granite. Vines organically managed with the owner/ grower being a respected friend of the Graillot family.



Jeb Dunnuck (jebdunnuck.com):

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. (Jeb Dunnuck) Points: 91. Date Tasted: 12/12/2019

Regions Vintage Report:

“After two exceptional vintages it’s difficult to believe that 2017 could match up to let alone deliver wines of similar quality. The styles though are different, with richer and often riper fruit in the North the wines are fuller than 2016 without the high concentration and balance of 2015. The South is another story, with once again a large deficit in volume, particularly for the Grenache. The season was quite warm and dry resulting in very low yields, sometimes up to 50% down. The North A relatively hot and dry vintage often resulting richer whites across the board, with the best producers managing to retain enough freshness and acidity for conveyance, for the majority these will be best consumed in youth. The reds are more of a mixed crew with some wines approaching the maturity and intensity of the 2015s, whilst others are more forward with softer tannins providing an earlier drinking window. The best producers harvested their whites early to keep the freshness but the reds much later to intensify the concentration and gain in complexity, especially for the tannin structure. The South The year started awkwardly with large amounts of “coulure” for the Grenache with the rest of the season not much easier, with a very dry summer reducing the crop further. The result is still very impressive and not too far from the highly lauded 2016 vintage. The wines are often very concentrated and, even if the acidity is a little low, the result is very impressive. Given the quality of 2017 it could have been considered as the vintage of the decade, but 2016 is still present in our minds and will be difficult to replace from the top of the pedestal. Many wines are very close in quality to the previous two vintages and I don’t think that we will see 3 successive star vintages like these for a while, furthermore 2018 is looking promising too although much more uneven between producers and appellations. The less precocious appellations fared best especially on soils less exposed to dry weather. In short, 2017 is another superb vintage if it was not for the very low volume produced. Christian Honorez, Director November 2018 ©adVINture 2020

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