Domaine les Alexandrins Crozes-Hermitage Blanc - 2020
A partnership between three winegrowers in the Rhône Valley – Nicolas Jaboulet, Guillaume Sorrel and Alexandre Caso – Domaine les Alexandrins crafts wines in the purest tradition of the Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph appellations. They are made from exceptional terroirs, ensuring the very finest expression of the appellation. Our Crozes-Hermitage comes from a superb terroir planted with old vines located in the heart of the appellation, around the villages of Pont d’Isère (Les Flouris) and Beaumont Monteux (Vie Magne).
This parcel is located in the plains, on pebbles. The vines are tended in a traditional way, using methods that respect the terroir, thereby encouraging biodiversity and drawing out the very best from the grapes. This is why some of our centenary vine stocks are able to withstand the tests of time and continue to give their best.
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.
A wine crafted in an immensely classic way, with carefully controlled ageing to bring nuance.
- Harvested by hand.
- Vinified in barrels of one or two wines.
- Stirred to add body.
- Matured in barrels for six months.
- Quantity limited to just 2,000 bottles.
A captivating brilliant light gold with delicate greenish reflections. The nose opens with a superb aromatic bouquet, deliciously intertwining toasted notes, brioche, and citrus. The sumptuous opulence in the mouth is perfectly balanced by wonderful acidity and freshness. And this perfect balance is down to the pairing of Marsanne and Roussanne.
This rich, full-bodied wine with aromas of dried fruits is the perfect match for poultry in a cream sauce.
Serve at 12°C. Right now: fresh and balanced. Cellaring time: ideally, open within 5 years.
Roussanne : 60 %
Marsanne : 40 %