Maison Les Alexandrins Crozes-Hermitage Rouge - 2021
A partnership between three winegrowers from the Rhône Valley – Nicolas Jaboulet, Guillaume Sorrel and Alexandre Caso – Maison les Alexandrins produces northern wines in a style at once contemporary and timeless, always from exceptional vineyards unearthed by Alexandre Caso, a specialist in the terroirs of the northern Rhône Valley. Classics with a twist, these wines and how they are aged and blended are guided by the quest for perfect harmony from a very young age. Part of our blend comes from the village of Beaumont Monteux which produces very generous, precise wines. This is rounded out with wine from a locality called Les Pends, near Mercurol, for depth and acidity.
The terroir comprises granite slopes to the north, similar to those in Hermitage, while the soil to the south is mainly alluvial with some terraces containing stones washed up by the Rhône. The vines are planted on slopes facing due south benefiting from the Mistral breeze. There is a great difference between the wines produced in the north or in the south of the appellation. Maison les Alexandrins’ Crozes-Hermitages mainly come from vines planted in the alluvial plain.
2021 was a winemaker vintage and required great responsiveness to very variable weather, comforting us in the pursuit of our good work in the vineyard. Winter was mild, followed by spring frosts before a dry mid-spring and then a cool summer with record rainfall. By stripping the leaves at the beginning of July, our grapes remained healthy. The harvest started in good conditions with the whites on September 13th in Brézème (-80% harvest due to frost), followed by Crozes-Hermitage and Condrieu. The summer conditions preserved a rare balance in our region. The Marsanne and Roussanne reveal freshness, minerality and precision, the Viogniers aromas of fresh fruit and a mouth full of finesse. For the reds, the lowland vineyards are full of indulgence with floral aromas and soft tannins. Finally, the granite terroirs reveal notes of pepper and spices and a rich palate.
An Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée in the northern Rhône Valley since 1937, the Crozes-Hermitage vineyard lies on the left bank of the Rhône, between the Hermitage and Saint-Joseph appellations. The earliest vines in this terroir were first grown in Roman times. Its name comes from two place names: “Crozes”, from the Latin crucem, which means “cross” or “crossroads”, and “Hermitage”, from the Latin heremitagium, meaning “hermitage” in English. It refers to the hill rising above the Rhône, on the summit of which the knight Henri Gaspard de Stérimberg settled to live as a hermit on his return from the Albigensian Crusade.
- Pre-fermentation cold maceration to develop the fruit.
- Maceration and fermentation for about 20 days with pumping over for the first few days and then punching down towards the end.
- Ageing in conical vats and demi-muids (60-litre capacity barrels) for 10 months.
Beautiful deep-purple colour. On the nose, this wine reveals the freshness of the vintage and opens up deliciously with seductive notes of small red fruit. The beautiful characteristic of freshness of 2021 continues on the palate, reinforced by a great acidity, in perfect balance with the beautiful aromas of black pepper and liquorice. A wine full of finesse, fresh and elegant.
This wine will go wonderfully with grilled meats.
Serve between 16°C and 17°C. Drink within 5 years.
Syrah : 100 %
The 2021 Crozes-Hermitage is rock-solid in the vintage, offering both red and blue fruits, some lifted floral, violet, and incense-like nuances, medium body, ripe tannins, and good mid-palate depth. It will be a fruit-forward charmer to drink in its youth, and it will unquestionably offer pleasure.
Jeb Dunnuck , 89/100 , 2022-12-15