Delas Frères Crozes Hermitage Le Clos
View From the Cellar
September 2023, John Gilman
“The Crozes-Hermitage “Le Clos” bottling from Delas Frères is their single vineyard bottling of Crozes, with this vineyard also located in the le Chassis sector of the appellation. The wine is raised for fourteen to sixteen months, entirely in used barrels, with the casks one to three years of age. The 2020 le Clos is a touch riper than the Domaine des Grands Chemins, coming in at an even fourteen percent alcohol in this vintage. The bouquet is deep, complex and sappy, wafting from the glass in a mix of black raspberries, cassis, black olive, pepper, hung game, a fine base of stony soil, a touch of lavender, cedary oak and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, complex and shows off outstanding depth at the core, with fine soil inflection, ripe, buried tannins, lovely focus and grip and a long, complex and impeccably balanced finish. This is first class Crozes. 2028-2045.”
May 2023, Kristen Bieler
“A svelte red, with serious aromatic and textural complexity, offering perfumed red fruit, dried flower and eucalyptus flavors that merge with base notes of cigar box, tobacco, smoked black tea and graphite. Shows toasty oak that's well-integrated and augments the power, though this never feels heavy, thanks to an undercurrent of mineral energy. Best from 2024 through 2032.”
April 27, 2023, Stuart Pigott
“Very smoky and meaty syrah, but also some violet aromas. At once plush and elegant this is a really sophisticated Crozes with full body, but also some delicacy. The tannins only come centre stage right at the end. They should give it a long life. From a four-hectare vineyard site south of Tain l'Hermitage, located close to the Rhone river. All matured in oak, but only about a quarter in new barrels. Drink or hold. ”
February 16, 2022, Jeb Dunnuck
“A big step up, the 2020 Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos comes from the Les Saviots lieu-dit and is brought up mostly in used barrels. Dense purple-hued, with a gorgeous bouquet of blackberry and blueberry fruits as well as ground pepper, crushed stone, graphite, and chocolate, you'd be excused for thinking this was a top Hermitage. Medium to full-bodied, balanced, and concentrated, it's a gorgeous Crozes that will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for a decade.”
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"cuvée is a vineyard plot selection. The grapes come exclusively from "Le Clos" vineyard on the choice plain area known as "Le 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 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.
This cuvée has a deep ruby red color, with garnet tinges. The nose shows aromas of stewed black fruit dominated by 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 a variety of grilled meats.
Varietals: 100% Syrah