Delas Frères Crozes Hermitage ‘Domaine des Grands Chemins’
93 Points, Cellar Selection
September 1, 2018, Anna Lee C. Iijima
“Savory tones of forest floor and dried herb accent ripe but restrained black-plum and cherry flavors in this full-bodied Syrah. It's a concentrated, muscular wine with brisk acidity and firm, upright tannins. Quite taut now it should meld elegantly by 2020 and continue to improve through 2030.”
April 1, 2018, Josh Raynolds
“Brilliant ruby. Spice-tinged red/blue fruits, succulent flowers and smoky minerals on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy and seamless on the palate, offering concentrated boysenberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter on the back half. The dark berry note lingers strongly on the spicy, sharply focused finish, which is shaped by smooth, even tannins.”
January 24, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“Coming all from the lower plains of Crozes-Hermitage (the les Chassis region), the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine Des Grands Chemins was destemmed and brought up in a mix of stainless steel and smaller barrels. It shows the house style with its pure, concentrated, focused character. Blackcurrants, cassis, toasted spice and graphite all flow to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully layered and pure 2015 that needs 2-3 years of bottle age, and will keep for a decade or more.”
October 31, 2017, James Molesworth
“Focused, with a tight beam of raspberry coulis and warm plum compote flavors, flecked with savory and white pepper hints. A chalky spine harnesses everything on the finish. Very solid.”
September 7, 2017, James Suckling
“Plush dark berries and plum fruit aromas with chocolate, pepper, roasting herbs and wet dark stones. The palate has a bright, fleshy and soft powdery tannin texture. Great balance here. Drink now.”
The Wine Advocate
April 1, 2017, Josh Raynolds
“Dark ruby. Complex aromas of red and dark berry liqueur, licorice and pungent flowers are enlivened by a spicy topnote. Shows excellent clarity and powerful thrust to the juicy, nicely concentrated blackberry and violet pastille flavors, and a peppery nuance adds spicy back-end cut. Closes sappy, energetic and very long, with fine-grained tannins sneaking in late.”
The Wine Advocate
December 30, 2016, Jeb Dunnuck
“There are three Crozes Hermitage releases in 2015, all of which are noteworthy. The 2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins is an impressive, fresh, lively effort that's loaded with notions of plums, blueberries, crushed rocks and graphite. Medium to full-bodied, fresh and nicely textured/focused, it should drink beautifully right out of the gate and keep for 5-7 years.”
The Crozes-Hermitage “Domaine des Grands Chemins” is made from a blend of grapes that come exclusively from the Domaine des Grands Chemins, owned by Delas Frères. All the vineyard plots lie on benches known as “le Chassis,” formed at the junction between the rivers Isère and Rhône. Production was 38,000 bottles for the 2006 vintage, the first release of this wine. Greater understanding of this site will enable a gradual increase in production. The Crozes-Hermitage vineyards are the largest of the northern Rhône appellations. In the Northern part, the soils are formed by the granite slopes that run on from those of Hermitage. The the South, soils are alluvial, stemming from glacier and river beds, with benches made up of rolled stones and silt from the Rhône river. Syrah is the main varietal grown, with Marsanne or Roussanne making up no more than 15 percent.
Grapes are hand-picked, plot by plot, at maximum levels of ripeness. Winemaking is quite traditional, with fermentation in open concrete tanks, following a cold-soaking. Daily cap-punching and pumping over provides extraction. The maceration phase lasts between 10 and 12 days. Maturing is conducted over a 14-month period, partly in tanks and partly in small Burgundian barrels that have already held one or two wines. Regular rackings introduce the necessary quantity of oxygen to round out the tannins.
The color is deep, with a garnet hue deepened by purple tinges. The nose shows seductive whiffs of crushed black fruit - dark cherries, blackberries and blackcurrants - that evolve in the glass to reveal slightly smoky and licorice notes, typical of the “Chassis” area. In retro-olfaction, and on a mineral background, menthol and eucalyptus express their hints. In the mouth, the seriousness of the wine combines with its delicacy: the first impact is fresh and lively. The texture is tannic but intense, pulpy, almost silky. This truly balanced wine expresses a nice complexity, generous and true to the genuine terroir of the Domaine des Grands Chemins. The wine's structure, along with its aromatic persistence, gives it a great potential for laying down.
This wine pairs well with red meat, feathered game and lamb in pastry.
Varietals: 100% Syrah
Wine Alcohol: 12.5%