Proper Crozes-Hermitage

For the first time in an age, I am writing a new post for Elitistreview. A tasting note of 2020 Crozes-Hermitage from Alain Graillot. Why the first time in an age? There has been a problem.

I am suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder terribly badly. The challenging depression this has resulted in me developing has also aggravated my psychosis.

Consequently, I am taking a new antipsychotic in addition to my usual one. This is good because it means I am no longer seeing corpses propped up against my bedroom window, zombies outside my front door and I am no longer suicidal.

Alas, antipsychotics are powerful drugs, and this new one has left me rather impaired. Indeed, until I started writing this introduction, I have been so impaired it has been impossible for me to write anything apart from drivel on social media. Writing any article at this point in my recovery is intimidating!

However, I am not going to hand over writing this article to an artificial intelligence app! Instead, I shall try to let my cognitive impairment interfere with this report as little as possible. I hope you will forgive me if things get strained or weird at any point! On to the review.

Alain Graillot has long been one of the very best producers of Crozes-Hermitage. Whilst his son, Maxime, had been making the Crozes at Domaine Alain Graillot for a number of years, the wine world was still shocked and saddened by the death of Alain toward the end of last year.

Alain was a true pioneer, leaving his agro-chemical background to make the best wine possible in land that he had chosen, not that which had been planted for centuries by his ancestors. His commitment to quality was unwavering – Graillot wines never disappoint no matter what vintage one tries.

The 2020 vintage in the Northern Rhone was the last, and quite probably the best, of a quartet of warm, productive vintages. All four vintages made generous, pleasurable wine, the only real worry being if the vines got too warm and so made acid-free, soupy wine. The 2020 Graillot Crozes is only 13% alcohol, an encouraging sign in such a vintage.

Let us see if Maxime stands on the shoulders of a giant, or if he has slipped off!

Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage 2020

Crozes-Hermitage 2020, Alain Graillot

A fresh, bright nose of sapid raspberries and blackberries, a hint of raspberry leaf and some cheap cologne. This smells everything like a top producer’s good vintage of Crozes in the same way the Jaboulet Thalabert 2018 did not.

It is attractive, winsome, lively and very energetic. It is just lovely. It smells like it will go with our sausages very well.

Indeed it does! The acidity and bright, fresh tannin are great foils for the fatty nature of the extremely high-quality sausage we are noshing on. This is a light, refreshing wine of moderate alcohol and vivacious aspect. Quite delicious!

There is some complexity to it, and it certainly has good a good, peppery, spicy length to it. However, if I were you, I would drink this over the next year and get it whilst it shows maximum perkiness and energy.

Crozes is supposed to be a lighter bodied, invigorating drink and this is precisely what it is. It is better than almost all others, but there is no pretension or delusions of grandeur to it. It is a delicious drink and you should get popping and consuming with an ample degree of satisfaction, knowing that you have bought well, and you are drinking it at its best.

Flawless Crozes-Hermitage, bravo Maxime!

Procured from Yapp Brothers.