Variety: 100% Syrah
Country Region: France, Northern Rhône Valley
Appellation: Saint Joseph
100% Syrah including vines planted in the Saint Epine lieu-dit, north of Tournon, where the soils are schist and gneiss over granite giving a finer fresher profile than those planted further south on pure granite. Vinified with 100% whole-bunches the resulting wine is more Burgundian with striking floral aromatics and super fine tannins. Pure joy.
‘2019 is clearly a vintage of extremely high quality & marks the fifth straight stellar year for the region.’ Josh Raynolds, Vinous, May 2020.
The Robin family have grown grapes in Crozes-Hermitage for generations, but until 1995 they were always sold to the local cooperative in Tain l'Hermitage. Today, Gilles estate bottles his entire production and consistently produces some of the very best wines of this appellation. Gilles has just 15 hectares, however most of those vineyards are fully mature at more than 40 years old.
The estate has several plots of land in the favoured ‘Les Chassis’ district just south of the Hermitage hill. The soils in this area consist of large amounts of smooth pudding stones ‘galets’ and red clay from the route the Rhône river once flowed. These richer clay based soils give a wine that is typically rounder and more generous than from some other areas of the appellation.
Owing to the large amount of mature old vines at this estate most of the wine produced is of the premium “Alberic Bouvet” cuvee. This cuvee is produced from vines averaging 40 years age. Picking is done by hand and yields are kept low at around 38 hl/ha. In the ripest years a small percentage of stems are allowed in the ferment and the wine is aged in barriques (and increasingly in larger 450 litre barrels) for about 15 months with about 15% new barrels used each year.