Equis Crozes Hermitage Equinoxe 2015
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The name Graillot is one of the most revered in the Northern Rhône. It was in 1985 that the legendary Alain Graillot, who after working with Jacques Seysses at Domaine Dujac, came back to his home in Crozes-Hermitage to start his own domaine. With each passing year, his devotion to the art of making incredibly delicious Syrah has been rewarded with an ever growing and highly dedicated following around the world. And so it would seem quite the daunting task for the child of such a luminary to follow in his footsteps... but Alain’s eldest son Maxime Graillot has done just that. He has continued the legacy started by his father and blazed his own personal trail in winemaking excellence.
Maxime trained under his father from a young age and in 2004 decided to split his time between his father’s domaine and establishing his own namesake winery. Knowing where the best land in the Rhône was to be found, he purchased parcels in the village of Beaumont-Monteux, just south of Alain’s plots in La Chene Vert. He converted the previously conventionally farmed vineyards to organics, making sure to soils were constantly ploughed (allowing the roots to dig deep into the gravel) and banned the use of herbicides. The results were incredible from the start. Compared to Alain’s wines, Maxime’s are similarly exuberant and expressive, but perhaps with a bit more fruit power behind them – possibly a result of Maxime de-stemming nearly all of his grapes, whereas Alain does not de-stem. They possess an effortless grace and charm that has become a staple of the Graillot style. Any lover of Northern Rhône wines owe it to themselves to pop a bottle, and be enveloped in the warm embrace of pure Syrah bliss.
Graillot is committed to maintaining freshness and delicate extraction which worked really well in the excellent 2015 vintage... a vintage so good that Marcel Guigal said, 'In 55 years, I've never seen anything like it.' More layered and supple than the 2014, the Equinoxe has rich, pulpy dried fruits, red licorice and juicy carbonic notes; great fruit supported by lifted freshness and velvety tannins. The wine was fermented in concrete tank and large wooden tronconique vats (with a degree of carbonic maceration), and aged in tronconique vats only. You could look at this like a 'Crozes Nouveau'.
Equinoxe is made in the heart of Crozes-Hermitage from 90% de-stemmed grapes and aged in used DRC barrels. This is juicy, exuberant, and expressive – delicious right out of the gate!
Wine AdvocateThe forward, fruity and straight-up delicious 2015 Crozes Hermitage Equinoxe offers a forward, medium+ bodied style, as well as sweet, light tannin, lots of plum and strawberry fruits, solid mid-palate depth and no hard edges. It's ideal for drinking in its first 7-8 years of life. It should be a killer Northern Rhône introduction.