The vineyard of Crozes Hermitage isn’t as old as that of Hermitage. It developed over this century towards the south to the detriment of fruit orchards.
In the north the terroir is composed of granite slopes similar to those of Hermitage. In the south the soil is mainly alluvial with a few stony terraces brought by the Rhône river. The vines are south facing, on slopes where the Mistral blows frequently. The wines produced in the North and those in the South of the appellation are very different.
The vintage :
After the solar and Mediterranean 2015 vintage, 2016 is very structured and fresh. The wines are flattering right from the first months but their balance will carry them for many years.
Crozes Hermitage is the biggest vineyard among the Northern Rhône appellations with over 1300 hectares. It is spread over 11 different communes situated in the department of La Drôme on the left bank of the Rhône river.
The grapes are cold-macerated before being fermented to increase the aromas of fruit. Maceration and fermentation for about 20 days with pumping-over for the first few days followed by punching-down. Ageing takes place in barrels for 10 months and then in stainless steel for another 6 months.
Syrah : 100%
Tasting notes :
This wine has a beautiful purple and dense red color. The nose has fresh aromas of violet, red fruit and minerality with a hint of spices (Sichuan pepper). This wine is balanced between freshness and density in the mouth. The tannins are velvety. The palate is on aromas of liquorice and fruit with notes of violets. A nice match between balance and structure.
This wine offers immediate pleasure. As soon as you open it the fruit is there. You can serve this wine at about 16-17°C with grilled food.
Inky ruby. Spice-tinged black raspberry and cherry liqueur aromas pick up a sexy floral nuance with aeration. Silky and broad on the palate, offering concentrated yet lively red and blue fruit preserve and violet pastille flavors energized by a vibrant mineral quality. Finishes gently sweet and quite long, with discreet tannins and a strong echo of sappy red fruit.
Vinous, Note : 92/100, 2019-09-01
Succulent, juicy plum and cherry flavors are contrasted by firm, slightly bitter tannins in this plush, full-bodied Syrah. It's approachably fruit forward but maintains fresh acidity and a touch of granite minerality.
Wine Enthusiast, Note : 89/100, 2019-07-01
The pretty, aromatic 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Maison les Alexandrins shouldn’t be confused with the Domaine bottling, but it’s a charming wine in its own right, boasting hints of cracked pepper and licorice on the nose and cherry and olive flavors on the palate. It’s medium-bodied, with a lithe feel and supple tannins, ideal for drinking over the next 3-4 years.
Wine Advocate, Note : 88/100, 2018-12-28
Pure juniper and violets on the nose. The palate has inky concentration, but remains fresh. Good tannic grain and bright acidity bring a lovely sense of liveliness and purity, with a long finish. The best Crozes I've tasted from Alexandrins to date.
Matt Walls, Decanter, Note : 91/100, 2017-10-09