Domaine Equis, Maxime Graillot, Crozes Hermitage Rouge ‘Equinoxe’ 2018

£17.00 (75cl)

In stock

SKU: RHEQ0018C

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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.



Robert Parker Wine Advocate (robertparker.com):

The easy-drinking 2018 Crozes Hermitage Equinoxe is plump and juicy, a real fruit bomb in a positive sense, loaded with ripe cherries and pomegranate flavors. Medium-bodied, it's silky and mouthwatering on the finish. Drink it on the young side. (Joe Czerwinski) Points: 88. Issue Date: 31/01/2020

Regions Vintage Report:

A year defined by a very wet spring but a warm and dry summer with very different results. The whites have generally less alcohol and are successful across the region while the reds, more affected by the climate, express a multitude of styles. Once again the yields were low and a few producers hardly made any wine! The North The region wasn’t as badly affected by the rain and being located on steep hills many of the best vineyards have great drainage potential. There was a little mildew but quite limited compared to the South and the yields are correct. The whites are fresher than 2017, rich, aromatic but with good tension. The reds are concentrated but balanced with enough structure to guarantee ageing. Their ripeness makes them charming and very appealing already but, thanks to the concentration due to the relatively low yields, they are not light and the best examples will age very well. Overall it’s an extremely good vintage with a few exceptional wines. The South The year was complicated: the rain started late March and didn’t stop until June. Working in the vineyards was very difficult; treating against the diseases like mildew was a real challenge that many organic but also conventional producers lost resulting in very low yields. Some vineyards and appellations were more affected, especially when there is a large clay content in the soil. Fortunately the summer was dry, quite hot, and the healthier vines produced nicely ripened fruit. The wines are generally charming and very appealing now without a huge concentration of tannins but they have good balance and enough structure to age, especially for the better vineyards and the east of the region, less affected by the weather. Knowing about the difficulties encountered by the producers I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the wines, many showing delicate and charming styles with early potential. They are not as rich and powerful as the 2015, 2016 and some of the 2017 vintages but will be more satisfying to many drinkers, especially when consumed young as it so often happens. Christian Honorez, Director February 2020 ©adVINture 2020

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