Variety: 100% Syrah
Country Region: France, Northern Rhône Valley
Appellation: Saint Joseph
From vines planted 1966 on granite soil at about 300 metres altitude near Tournon. De-stemmed and vinified gently and aged in 600L barrel. Only 1000 bottles made.
“(casks) dark robe, a full black tinted do. The nose is broad, chunky, reduced, has a keen line of blueberry fruit with licorice touches, some oaking. There’s a slight sense of extraction. The palate starts on bountiful, fleshy, firm content, delivers an open hand of black berry fruit, with slightly coarse tannin and their tar spots behind, meaning it finishes drily. The tannins are direct, sustained, and if they meld, all is well. The feel of exertion rather runs through it, so wait until spring 2019. 2027-29 Oct 2016” Johnathon Livingstone-Learmonth drinkrhone.com October 2016
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.