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Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Rhone Valley 2021

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Alain Graillot 2021 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Rhone Valley, France 

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 famiy has a total of 22 ha under vine, with only 3 ha planted to white grapes. The Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Blanc is exceedingly rare, but one of the most delicious iterations of northern Rhone white wine available today

Beginning with the 2008 vintage, Alain’s son, Maxime Graillot, owner of Domaine Equis, took on the role of running his well-respected father’s Domaine in addition to his own. The red wines that Maxime produces under his father’s label maintain a traditional appeal of using stems and whole-cluster to add structure and longevity. 

WINEMAKER: Maxime Graillot

FARMING: Organic

VARIETIES: Approximately 80% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne

VINEYARD/TERROIR NOTES: 30-year-old vines in Crozes-Hermitage,  planted on well-drained, flat alluvial plains between the Rhône and Isère Rivers 

VINIFICATION NOTES: Hand harvested. 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.

TASTING NOTES: An energetic but supple and rounded wine, this Crozes-Hermitage blanc expresses rich stones fruits and hints of green melon, while finishing with a zesty white pepper and smoky minerality. Pair along complex dishes like smoked fish, coconut-based curries or roasted white meats.