Delas Freres Crozes Hermitage ‘Domaine des Grands Chemins’
June 2018, Josh Raynolds
“Brilliant violet. Ripe cherry and blueberry on the perfumed nose. Mocha, licorice and olive nuances appear with air and add complexity to sweet, nicely concentrated black and blue fruit flavors. Clings well on the gently tannic finish, showing no rough edges and leaving blue fruit and spicecake flavors behind.”
January 24, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine Des Grands Chemins is even better. Plums, blackberries, peppery herbs, and earth give way to a broad, expansive, beautifully textured Syrah that has sweet tannin and a great mouthfeel. It’s going to drink nicely through 2026.”
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
Suggested Retail Price: $33.99