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STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

Domaine Graillot

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Robert Plant, the grower of iconic songs at Domaine Led Zeppelin, liked to say that the past was a stepping-stone, not a millstone.

That is what handing down through the generations is all about – a point well understood by Antoine and Maxime Graillot, who have gained impetus through what their father built. Their father is Alain Graillot, a former engineer, who unassumingly arrived in Crozes-Hermitage in 1985 and proved, vintage after vintage, to be a genius with Syrah, while showing that it was possible to make very fine wines here whilst keeping things in tune with nature.

No weedkiller or insecticide, low yields, working the soil… and whole-cluster fermentation, which, for a long time, set Alain apart within the appellation.

This is one expression of his free will, which was always evident in his cuvées. His routine excellence is often acclaimed… and now in demand in Spain, Italy, Morocco and Australia, where Alain Graillot advises several wineries. With his sons in charge, the song remains the same: observe the vines, respect nature, work for the terroir, work simply and take the time needed. Why are they not certified organic? “We’ve never gone for labels, we don’t believe in cliques.” They are here to keep delighting with consistently subtle, well-structured Syrahs, wines ready to give pleasure now or sheer contentment later.

 

For let it be clearly stated: whoever opens a Guiraude, a rare cuvée from the estate, has before them a…
stairway to heaven!

vineyards

17 ha in CROZES HERMITAGE AOC RED. 3 ha in CROZES HERMITAGE AOC WHITE. Gravelly soils of old alluvium. 1.5 ha in SAINT JOSEPH AOC RED. The vines are managed traditionally with, in particular, no chemical weedkillers. All soils are tilled.

CELLAR

Grapes hand-picked; unstemmed with pumping-over for Crozes Hermitage and Saint Joseph. Vinified in temperature-controlled concrete vats. Maceration: 14-18 days. Aged in recent barrels only.

WINES

CROZES HERMITAGE RED: Syrah (100%). Ages very well, but deeply expressive aromas make it highly attractive when young. • La Guiraude: Syrah (100%). Selected from best barrels. Concentrated and harmonious, ideal for laying-down. CROZES HERMITAGE WHITE: Marsanne (80%) and Roussanne (20%). Fermented and aged 50% in barrels and 50% in Stainless Steel, bottled early for drinking when young. SAINT JOSEPH RED: Syrah (100%). Best drunk when fruitiest: lay down for 4-5 years.
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