2018 Domaine des Lises, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Northern Rhone, France.
Maxime Graillot of Equis, who also now makes the wines at his famous father’s Alain Graillot, has crafted a full bodied charmer of a Syrah from his Domaine des Lises in Crozes-Hermitage that is bursting with ripe black and blue fruits, ultra silky tannins and a mouth filling plush sensation, adding hints of violets, sweet herbs, licorice, cassis and a touch of pepper and cedar. This 2018 is surprisingly luxurious and supple, making it a wine that is ready to drink young, no cellaring required here and it so easy to quaff, you’ll almost think it is a new world wine, though with food and air the true nature and terroir come through with subtle earthy accents. This a more impactful version of Maxime’s Crozes-Hermitage than normal and big step up from the the other Equis Syrahs, which are food friendly quaffers.
The Domaine des Lises 2018 Crozes-Hermitage, made from 100% Syrah, comes from an organic 40 year old parcel in the lieu-dit of “Les Picheres” set on the regions classic rocky gravel soils, which is less than 2km from the renown estate vines of Domaine Alain Graillot. Maxime employed a traditional approach here, using about 30% whole-cluster and native yeasts with ripe, late picked grapes and he aged this vintage in well seasoned old French oak barrels for close to a year. This is a very forward and opulent year, with the expressive plummy fruit core and a finished natural alcohol of 14.5%, this is a bigger framed wine than typical of the region and vintage, a bit more like a modern Cote-Rotie, so it offers a lot for the money and should impress a crowd easily with its lush boysenberry, damson plum, blueberry, sweet kirsch liqueur and fig layers.
($30 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive