Delas Frères Crozes Hermitage ‘Le Clos’
December 20, 2018, Jeb Dunnuck
“Brought up in used barrels, the 2016 Crozes Hermitage Le Clos is a beauty that shines on all accounts. Offering a complex bouquet of black raspberries, peppery herbs, new saddle leather, and spice, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, terrific balance, good freshness, and a clean, lengthy finish. Drink it any time over the coming 8-10 years.”
September 12, 2018, James Molesworth
“Pretty, with black tea and cinnamon notes out front, giving this a perfumy feel, while crushed black cherry and raspberry fruit flavors fill in behind them. Flashes of mesquite and anise add range on the finish, which is racy in feel. Drink now through 2023.”
August 29, 2018, James Suckling
“Plenty of attractive spice and pepper here with meaty, toasty oak adding further interest to the ripe blackberries. The palate has a very succulent, modern and spicy feel. Great depth and concentration of black-fruit flavors. Barrel sample.”
June 2018, Josh Raynolds
“Opaque ruby. Pungent, mineral- and spice-accented dark berry and cherry aromas take on floral and game overtones with aeration. Juicy, sweet and expansive in the mouth, offering intense boysenberry and cherry pie flavors along with slowly emerging smoky bacon and olive qualities. Fine-grained tannins frame a long, sweet finish that leaves a sappy blue fruit note behind.”
The Crozes-Hermitage vineyards are the largest of the northern Rhône appellations. Syrah is the main varietal grown, with Marsanne or Roussanne making up no more than 15 percent. The Crozes-Hermitage “Le Clos” cuvee is a vineyard plot selection. The grapes come exclusively from the “Clos” vineyard on the choice plain area known as Chassis on the left bank of the Rhône. This wine is only made in the very best years and its production is deliberately limited to 7,000 bottles (750 ml) per year.
The soil varies from granite subsoils in the North to both fluvial-glacial alluviums and terraces of rolled river bed stones, mixed with loess in the South. The climate has a southerly exposure in the hillside areas. The “Mistral” is the dominant wind. “Le Clos” grapes are harvested manually at optimum maturity. Fermentation is carried out in the traditional way in open-topped concrete tanks, following a two-day period of skin contact at low temperature. Fermentation follows at controlled temperatures from 82°F to 86°F. Daily cap pushing down and pumping over is kept up for about 10 days, with a total maceration period up to 20 days. Maturation lasts for 14 to 16 months in oak barrels, which have already held wine for one to three years. These are regularly racked in order to provide the necessary oxygen to the tannins for an optimum maturing.
The Crozes-Hermitage “Le Clos” cuvée has a deep ruby red color, with garnet tinges. The nose shows aromas of stewed black fruit (cassis and blackberries). As it opens up, it reveals hints of leather and game. The palate is perfectly balanced, with a combination of suave delicacy and considerable volume. The finish is lifted by flavors of very ripe black cherries.
This wine pairs well with waterfowl, mixed grills and marinated beef or chicken.
Varietals: 100% Syrah
Wine Alcohol: 12.5%
Suggested Retail Price: $59.00