Domaine Equis, Maxime Graillot, Saint Joseph Rouge 2016

£28.00 (75cl)

In stock

SKU: RHEQ0216C

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.



Robert Parker Wine Advocate (robertparker.com):

Bottled in June 2018, after spending close to 18 months in barrel and more time in a large oak vat, the 2016 Saint Joseph has been sourced from the same grower in St Jean de Muzols since 2007. This full-bodied wine is silky but intense, with layers of blueberry and cherry fruit and fantastic length and texture on the finish. ( Joe Czerwinski) Points: 92. Issue Date: 28/12/2018

Jeb Dunnuck (jebdunnuck.com):

The 2016 Saint Joseph offers a vibrant, perfumed, complex style in its sweet black raspberry, sappy herb, violet, mint, and mineral-laced bouquet. Medium-bodied, lively and fresh, yet with good depth of fruit and nicely integrated acidity, it needs short-term cellaring and will keep for 7-8 years at a minimum. (Jeb Dunnuck) Points: 92. Date Tasted: 20/12/2018

Regions Vintage Report:

“After an exceptional 2015 vintage it’s difficult to believe that 2016 could match up to let alone deliver wines of superior quality. It was quite different in the North with fresher, fragrant whites and more subtle and elegant reds. But for once the South is where sublime wines were produced with some of the most impressive wines I have ever tasted! And to make things better they are not overly rich or heavy, but rather exceptionally balanced. Volumes are reasonable, especially compared to 2017 where quantities are very often 50% down on average” Christian Honorez Director The North Following the superlative 2015 vintage it would be easy to downgrade 2016 wines. Of course, they do not have the intensity and ripeness of last year’s wines but they make up for it with beautiful fruit and great balance. One does not always look for muscle and structure in the North and many beautiful wines are produced in balanced vintages like 2016. Do not get me wrong, 2016 isn’t a weak and lean vintage, far from it, but the best wines are those capturing the essence of the Syrah grown in that part of France; perfumed, elegant and savoury. Moreover, of course a slightly cooler year benefitted the whites that are incredibly perfumed, rich but not overly ripe. The South It was difficult not to notice the broad smiles and the joy after the 2016 vintage. Two magnificent vintages producing decent yields will certainly help the producer’s cash flow, especially after a few challenging vintages and the prospect of notably reduced volumes in 2017. The whites are rich, perfumed with enough freshness to carry the ripeness through. Many of them will evolve beautifully for several years, but of course, the ‘piece de resistance’ are the magnificent reds. Ripe, juicy, with just enough structure, elegant tannins and a good dose of freshness; I cannot remember having tasted so many great wines from a single vintage. The easiest ones are so appealing that I wanted to decant them into a bottle to drink the same day, despite knowing that they will last and improve for many years. Some wines are a touch more austere and will require 2 or 3 years cellaring, but for many of us the problem will be to resist the charm and appeal of these young wines. I will certainly buy as much as possible to enjoy over the next 10+ years. Christian Honorez, Director November 2017 ©adVINture 2020

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