Alain Graillot has established a reputation for making his Crozes Hermitage the most sought after of the appellation. In spite of only 20 hectares of vineyards, his wines are sold worldwide on an allocation basis only.
Alain Graillot has the sort of vineyard that makes the wine traveller thirsty. It is the kind of place that simply looks like it makes great booze. Gnarled yet well-manicured vines reach up from a sea of smooth, rolled stones, each about the size of a child’s fist. At chez Graillot, the vineyards run deep with such stones, some 30m deep. It’s the kind of rocky terrain that is common in the Southern Rhône but far less so in the north.
Today son Maxime Graillot has the senior winemaking role at Domaine Alain Graillot and is carving out his own place in the history of the Northern Rhône.
The latest releases from Maxime’s own vineyards compare very favourably with those from his father’s, ignoring obvious stylistic differences. Displaying an intensity and minerality as though they were a birthright, the leitmotif in Maxime’s wines is juiciness, freshness and poise. It’s a quality that is setting them well on the way to becoming regional benchmarks, if they are not already.
Join Maxime Graillot and Fiona Bacash for dinner. Beginning with a glass of NV Agrapart Terroirs Blanc de Blancs at 7pm.