Northern Rhône native, Alain Graillot, is recognized for his passion of Syrah. Prior to starting his own domaine, Alain worked in Burgundy, where he received guidance from the reputable Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac. In 1985, Alain founded Domaine Alain Graillot just outside the village of Pont de l’Isère, about 6 km south of Tain-l’Hermitage. He is now considered one of the most highly sought-after producers in the Northern Rhône due to his exuberant, robust and impeccably made Syrah-based wines.
The family owns 22 ha of vineyards made up of 30-year-old vines in Crozes-Hermitage that are planted on well-drained, flat alluvial plains between the Rhône and Isère Rivers and two small parcels of 12-year-old vines in St. Joseph planted on hard, granite slopes that produce a slightly fresher, easy-drinking wine. Total plantings include Syrah for reds and Marsanne and Roussanne for whites. The vines are farmed organically with traditional chemical-free vineyard management techniques, and all fruit is hand-harvested and respected based on its expressive terroir.
“Alain has a passion for the Syrah grape from which he makes hand crafted wines of great distinction and enormous elegance" - The Wine Spectator
Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2018 $38.99
ARIETAL COMPOSITION: Roughly 80% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne.
FERMENTATION: Grapes are pressed upon arrival at the winery. After settling, about 50% of the must is fermented in barrel (1-year-old oak from top Burgundy producers such as Sauzet). The other 50% is given a long, cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
The wine avoids malolactic to preserve the acidity and freshness.
LOCATION: The Graillot residence and cellars are just outside the village of Pont de l’Isère, about 6km south of Tain-l’Hermitage. The Crozes-Hermitage vineyards are close by, on the flat, rocky land between the Isère and Rhône rivers. The best sites are at Les Chassis and Les Sept Chemins.
SOIL: Around Pont de l’Isère, the soil is formed from alluvial deposits of sand, gravel, rocks and stones. Despite being flat, it drains exceedingly well.
VINIFICATION & AGEING: All the grapes are hand-harvested, from severely-pruned, low-yielding vines. The red Crozes-Hermitage grapes are not destemmed, i.e. 100% whole-cluster. They are loaded into lined concrete vats, and temperatures are brought down to 18°C for a 2 to 5 day pre-fermentation maceration. Once vinifications (indigenous yeast) get going, temperatures rise to 30°C, and cuvaison lasts 15 to 21 days. Aged for one year - 80% of them in one to 3 year old oak barrels, the remaining 20% in vat. They are given a light filtration but no fining before bottling.