Maison Les Alexandrins Crozes-Hermitage Blanc - 2020
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. Our blend is composed of two terroirs: on the one hand, vines growing on the granite slopes of Les Pends and, on the other hand, the stony plains in the village of Chanos Curson.
Our wine is made from Marsanne and Roussanne vines with an average age of 20 years.
After the hail damage of 2019, we had to nurse our vineyards back to health with a range of gentle but complementary nutrients. This made 2020 a technically exacting year, especially since the weather reserved many surprises for us.
Spring was extraordinarily hot and dry and, despite a short break in June when some welcome rain fell, summer saw a continuation of drought conditions right up until the harvest. With a high risk of mildew at the start of the season, constant and unpredictable winds, powdery mildew half way through the season and the threat of high temperatures and scorching, we were spared nothing, and it required a major effort to cope. Fortunately, the occasional shower, fairly cool nights and morning dew meant the vines did not suffer too much from the summer heat, and all our hard work seems to have paid off with the promise of a fine vintage. To avoid the hottest moments of the day, we began picking from 6 am so as to pick the grapes while they were cool. We began with the whites on August 19 and continued with the reds through until September 16. First tastings revealed aromatic wines of great freshness, with degrees rarely exceeding 13.5°.
After so many twists and turns, it is a vintage that reverts to origin in a very “Northern Rhône” style, after the mediterranean vintages of 2018 and 2019.
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.
- Vinified in demi-muids (60-litre capacity barrels).
- 50% aged in demi-muids and 50% in concrete egg vats for 6 months.
After 8 months of aging in demi-muids, this wine reveals its perfectly balanced blend between the buttery Marsanne and the tightness of Roussanne. It offers a superb bouquet of smoky notes and toasted bread subtly mixed with aromas of white fruit. This precocious vintage with perfect maturity is to be enjoyed over the next 3 to 5 years.
This wine is perfect as an aperitif served with a prawn platter. It also pairs well with grilled fish (sole and sea bream) and works a charm with white meat, especially poultry.
Serve at 12°C. Ideally drink within the next 3 to 5 years.
Marsanne : 60 %
Roussanne : 40 %