Alain Graillot Crozes Hermitage 2019
100% Syrah. In France’s Northern Rhone Valley, there are few names as revered as Graillot. It was in 1985 that the now legendary Alain Graillot, who after working with the venerable Jacques Seysses at Domaine Dujac, came back to his home in Crozes-Hermitage to start his own domaine. With each passing year his devotion to the art of making hauntingly delicious Syrah from his organically farmed, stone-laden vineyards, has been rewarded with an ever-growing and highly dedicated following around the world. Alain’s sons Maxime and Antoine have been in charge since 2008, with Alain working closely alongside them to this day. All the work is still completely the same as it ever was: hand-harvesting, organic farming, whole-cluster fermentation, and aging the wines primarily in 1-to-3-year-old barrels purchased from some of the top estates in Burgundy. The ever-popular Crozes-Hermitage comes from 30-year-old vines in the villages of La Chene Verts and is fermented in concrete before being moved to barrel for aging. If you want a great intro to Northern Rhone Syrah, and one of the best examples of Crozes-Hermitage, look no further. The domaine’s status as one of the top domaines in all of France is without question and the whole lineup are must-have for any serious Northern Rhone fan.