100% Serine (ancient variety of Syrah). Destemmed fruit. Granite soils. Twelve months’ ageing: 20% in new casks - 40% in casks used for one wine - 40% in casks used for two wines. At the foot of Gervans hill, there is a rather amazing Gallo-Roman milestone. It is in perfect condition and is a reminder of how bountiful rural life was at the time. It shows that this was a place where people interacted but which also had great potential for farming. Vines were already being grown here, that is an undisputed fact. So - are the wines we taste today similar to those of our distant ancestors? It's difficult to say, but thereis no doubt that terroir is more powerful than the grape variety. It’s then up to everyone to make up their own mind. I am always amazed by my ‘side-by-side’ tastings of Crozes Hermitage and Saint Joseph: how is it possible that the two can be so different? When we refer to the ‘Northern Rhone Valley’, we are taking a huge shortcut and making a massive generalisation. People who live here know how different the climates are. In reality, there are ‘two Northern Rhones’. In Tain l'Hermitage, a certain ‘southern’ influence is already tangible, while the Côte-Rôtie area is definitely continental. Of course, our Crozes seems very ‘friendly’ and ‘easy’ next to Saint Joseph but the secret is that there is a wine for every occasion. On the hillsides of Gervans and Erôme, just behind Hermitage hill, the wines are often quite similar to those of Hermitage. Itcould almost be an appellation in its own right because there is a huge difference with the ‘Châssis’ terroirs.
2018 Crozes is long, broad, flavourful, ripe and balanced: what a vintage! Probably one of the best since we have been making it. Smoked bacon, blackberry, white pepper, incense.
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