Grapelive: Wine of the Day June 17, 2018

2015 Yves Cuilleron, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge “Laya” Northern Rhone, France.
One of the Northern Rhone most gifted winemakers, who has gained international fame for his Syrah and Viognier offerings from his Domaine based in the village of Verlieu in Chavanay, he farms a variety of small plots in top Crus including Condrieu and Cote-Rotie, as well as spectacular old vine parcels in Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph that make for wold class wines that shine with a true sense of terroir. The “Laya” Crozes-Hermitage Rouge comes from a single Lieu-dit vineyard south of the Tain L’Hermitage set on granite influenced soils, the grapes 100% Syrah are partially destemmed, with just the right amount of whole cluster and stems, then placed in open vats for a three week cuvaison with malolactic fermentation in small mostly neutral (used) French oak barrels where the wine is left to age for 16 months before bottling. Deeply colored, beautiful purple/black with bright edges the Laya Crozes is vivid and wonderfully earthy in style with layers of dark fruits, graphite/stones, leather, pretty underlying violets and minty herbs. Youthful and fresh it unfolds with a medium body and firm fruit density with boysenberry, damson plum, blueberry and currant all coming through with touches of black olive, leather, cedar, peppercorns and kirsch. Gains mouth feel and width with air, but never losing it’s sharp focus, Yves Cuilleron is, as mentioned in prior reviews, making some of the best wines of his career and his Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage, both his white and red versions, are some of the greatest Rhone values out there bar none! Drink this classic Crozes (Syrah) over the next 5 to 10 years, and don’t miss any and all chances to try these 2015 and 2016 Cuilleron wines.
($32 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive