Equis Croze Hemitage Equinoxe Maxime Graillot 2018 - Rhone, France
90/100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
90/100 Wine Spectator
15.5/20 Jancis Robinson
15.5/20 Jancis Robinson (2016 vintage)
90/100 Wine Spectator (2016 vintage)
86/100 CellarTracker - (2016 vintage)
89/100 Wine Spectator (2015 vintage)
88/100 CellarTracker - (2015 vintage)
Richard Hemming - "Raw, youthful black fruit on the nose, then charming meat and olive notes on the palate. Proper Syrah, with elegance and perfume and length."
Wine Spectator - "Juicy and direct, featuring plum and cherry paste notes gilded with a floral hint.'
There are few names as revered in the Northern Rhône as the name Graillot. Maxime Graillot, son of the famed winemaker, Alain Graillot has not only taken over the daily operations of his father's estate but also founded this boutique label with his long-term friend and respected wine-maker Thomas Schmittel. Both work closely with quality growers too and influence successfully winemaking process vinifying, ageing, and bottling. Maxime's devotion to the art of making hauntingly delicious Syrah has been rewarded with an ever-growing and highly dedicated following around the world. And so it would seem quite the daunting task for the child of such a luminary to follow in the footsteps of such a giant. Well luckily for us and the wine world.
There are three wines in the range, each crop sourced from a roster of first-rate, cultivated vineyards where Graillot and Schmittel have a close working relationship with the growers.
In terms of volume, Equinoxe Crozes-Hermitage is the ‘poster wine’ of the project. The fruit for this early-drinking Crozes is sourced from a mature, gravelly and organically farmed site in Pont de l’Isère that has not seen any herbicide or pesticide for 10 years.
Maxime and Thomas pay close attention to what is happening in the vineyard all year long, decide when to harvest, the way they harvest and the way they make the wine once back at the winery (in Pont de l’Isère). They are very hands-on and take the time to have a relationship with the growers.
The Rhone Valley is a key wine-producing region in the southeast of France. Crozes-Hermitage is an appellation of the northern Rhone valley in France. It covers a relatively large area on the eastern bank of the Rhone river, to the north and south of Tain L'Hermitage town. Much larger than the prestigious Hermitage appellation which it surrounds, Crozes-Hermitage is also much more prolific. In 2011 almost 70,000 hl of wine were produced and sold under the Crozes-Hermitage title – more than the other seven northern Rhone appellations combined.
Syrah is a dark-skinned red wine grape. Its origins have been popularly debated, but its modern viticultural home is unquestionably the northern Rhône Valley of eastern France. In Australia, Syrah is the flagship variety and has developed such a distinct personality that it is essentially regarded as a distinct variety, is overwhelmingly (but not exclusively) known as Shiraz.