Variety: 60% Roussanne, 40% Marsanne
Country Region: France, Northern Rhône Valley
Produced from 60% Roussanne and 40% Marsanne planted on limestone soils and cropped very low at less than 25 hl/ha to give a very intense “old-school white” according to Gilles. Vinified naturally with its own yeast and aged half in used barrels and half in tank, this wine is kept on lees for just over 6 months then bottled to retain its freshness and perfume. “..it is pretty full and also graceful.” drinkrhone.com
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.