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 :
For the appellations of the northern Rhone Valley, 2015 was a truly exceptional year, almost without precedent!
After a mild, wet winter and particularly high temperatures in spring, summer brought a heatwave even hotter than 2003. Welcome rain arrived in abundance in mid-August, followed anew by glorious sunshine and a providential wind that guaranteed perfect sanitary conditions and a regular and rapid ripening of the grapes. And so the harvest benefited from optimum conditions during the first two weeks of September.
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 reddish colour and looks dense. This solar vintage for the appellation, surprises by its freshness, its balance and its fruitiness. Rich palate with a supple and dense tannic texture, long finish with aromas of red and black fruit, and fresh mineral notes (graphite). Nice mix of balance and structure.
Tasting video :
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.
Brilliant violet. Spicy black and blue fruits, pungent flowers and a hint of smokiness on the perfumed nose. Juicy and focused in the mouth, offering ripe boysenberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter on the back half. The dark berry note lingers on the spicy finish, which is framed by smooth tannins.
Vinous, Note : 90/100, 2018-04-02
Rather ripe, with fleshy boysenberry and blackberry puree flavors gushing through, inlaid with black licorice and Christmas pudding notes. Offers a fleshy, hedonistic finish. A little shy on cut, but the fruit is hard to deny.
Drink now through 2020.
Wine Spectator, Note : 91/100, 2017-12-31
Bright mulberries, red plums and pepper with a toasty and spicy layer of modern oak influence. The palate has pastry-like tannins in an appealing, smooth style. Red plums to close. Drink now.
JamesSuckling.com, Note : 91/100, 2017-09-01
Guide Bettane et Desseauve des vins de France, Note : 15/20, 2017-08-01
The gorgeous 2015 Crozes-Hermitage shows how strong this appellation is in 2015. It offers lots of blackberry, tapenade, truffle and peppery aromatics, full-bodied richness and a silky, pure, elegant texture. This inky colored beauty is already drinking beautifully, but will cruise for a decade or more.
Jeb Dunnuck, Note : 93/100