Delas Frères Crozes Hermitage ‘Domaine des Grands Chemins’
December 20, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“The 2017 Crozes Hermitage Domaine Des Grands Chemins is a screaming good wine that comes all from the Les Chassis portion of the region, which are the alluvial soils on the lower plain. Aged in a mix of tank and small barrels, this beauty boasts a saturated purple/blue color as well as notes of crème de cassis, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed rocks. With beautifully integrated oak, full body, terrific purity, and a great finish, it's unquestionably one of the gems from this appellation.”
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. 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. In 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 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 "Le Chassis”. 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: $45.00