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Other than Graillot...

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JoePerry

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Other than Graillot...

by JoePerry » Thu May 04, 2006 2:08 am

Who else makes really good expressive Crozes-Hermitage? I'm thinking back over my C-H experiences and nobody else is standing out with much authority. I'm sure there must be others worth tracking down; so who are some of your favorites?

Thanks,
Joe
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Rahsaan » Thu May 04, 2006 3:48 am

Gilles Robin not your thing?
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Dale Williams » Thu May 04, 2006 9:20 am

Rahsaan mentions Gilles Robin, which I liked the one bottle I tried, but I think Florida Jim has bought up everything available (or at least available for less than $20).

I was not very impressed with Bernard Chave nor Chapoutier (very pricey). And Tardieu-Laurent is about what you would expect -wellmade, not my style. Though I confess to actually surprising myself by kind of liking a Remizieres Croze- very modern but also seemed very meaty/N. Rhoney. So ripe & oaky but not neccessarily "international."

The Cave de Tain coop C-H isn't a stunner, but usually well-priced, and has served its purpose in a bistro with a limited list once or twice.

Which brings us to the 800-lb gorilla in the C-H room - Jaboulet. I realize its all the rage in geeky circles to dismiss big negociants (I'm not immune to it myself), and Jaboulet la Chapelle Hermitage hasn't exactly dazzled in recent years (and wines like the CdP are usually pretty bad). But the Thalabert was a very very good wine, though I haven't bought recently (price increases and maybe quality drop). If you should happen to run across some late 80s/early 90s Thalabert at reasonable prices I'd suggest trying. Certainly the 85, '88, and '90 were very good for the appelation. They also make a negociant C-H (Jalets) that is occasionally pretty good, but must be bottled barrel by barrel or something, because the bottle variation is amazing. I really liked a bottle of the '99, bought probably another 8 or 9 bottles in batches of 2-3 when it was under $9. But bottles have truly been all over the place- from B+ to C on my easy scale.

HTH
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Bruce K » Thu May 04, 2006 10:05 am

I wouldn't put them in the same category as Graillot, but for value, I've enjoyed several vintages of the Domaine des Entrefaux Crozes-Hermitage, which typically costs between $10 and $15.
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Sam Platt » Thu May 04, 2006 10:47 am

I second the Jaboulet Thalabert. Each recent vintage I have tasted has been quite rich and complex. My favorite C-H to date has been Seigneur de Lauris Arnoux. I don't recall the vintage. I am unable to find anymore, so it may not be widely available.
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Lee Short » Thu May 04, 2006 9:58 pm

I'm of the opinion that you're much better off spending your money on St Joseph. Even for Graillot.
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by David M. Bueker » Thu May 04, 2006 10:21 pm

I was surprised, but the '98 Jaboulet Crozes Thalabert was gooooooood stuff.
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Mark Lipton » Fri May 05, 2006 12:30 am

In addition to Dale and Rahsaan's thoughtful suggestions, there is Albert Belle, a reliable producer who, though not in the same league as Graillot and Gilles Robin, makes very serviceable Crozes for reasonable price. They make two bottlings, of which the "Cuvée Louis Belle" is usually my favorite, though in good years the "Les Pierrelles" can be an excellent value.

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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Rahsaan » Fri May 05, 2006 12:57 am

I'm of the opinion that you're much better off spending your money on St Joseph.


Why do you think that is? Better sites? Different terroir?

I thought both were unforgivingly large and diverse appellations, with their own mixture of better and lesser sites. But of course I don't know much in actual detail?
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Bill Spohn » Fri May 05, 2006 1:12 am

I've enjoyed several vintages of Dom. Remizierres Cuvee Christophe....
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Lee Short » Fri May 05, 2006 1:40 am

I thought both were unforgivingly large and diverse appellations, with their own mixture of better and lesser sites.


While it is undoubtedly true that there are vast amounts of undistinguished wine produced in both St Jo and Crozes, IME, the better wines from St Jo are better than the better wines from Crozes. I don't know enough to compare the sites, really: could be just that Crozes does not typically get as much care. The few producers where I've been able to taste both appellations from the same producer, it could just be a matter of those producers having better sites in St Jo than in Crozes.
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by robs_r » Fri May 05, 2006 9:13 am

I had a very pleasent Crozes from Domaind du Colombier recently, here is my note:


  • 2001 Domaine du Colombier Crozes-Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage (4/3/2006)
    Beautiful cherry red, nose a bit stinky, medium body with red fruit, barnyard and good acidity. Quite typical young northern Rhone Syrah. Still young and nice with food. Drink or keep.


Regards, Robert
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Rahsaan » Fri May 05, 2006 1:54 pm

I had a very pleasent Crozes from Domaind du Colombier recently


Did you have the 04 recently? I found it a parody of generic. But, it is seen in many places..
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Mark Lipton » Fri May 05, 2006 2:36 pm

Lee Short wrote:While it is undoubtedly true that there are vast amounts of undistinguished wine produced in both St Jo and Crozes, IME, the better wines from St Jo are better than the better wines from Crozes. I don't know enough to compare the sites, really: could be just that Crozes does not typically get as much care. The few producers where I've been able to taste both appellations from the same producer, it could just be a matter of those producers having better sites in St Jo than in Crozes.


The usual explanation is that Crozes-Hermitage consists of a small amount of good quality hillside locations and lots of the plateau beyond (further from the river). However, not too long ago St. Jo's boundaries were also expanded to take in more of the alluvial plain, thereby increasing the amount of undistinguished St. Jo now produced.

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Re: Other than Graillot...

by robs_r » Fri May 05, 2006 3:29 pm

Did you have the 04 recently? I found it a parody of generic. But, it is seen in many places...


No. What problem did you have with the '04? Oak?
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by David Lole » Fri May 05, 2006 6:16 pm

My exposure to this appellation is somewhat limited but I have enjoyed the occasional Graillot, Jaboulet (Thalabert, not tried the Jalets), Chapoutier (Varionieres), Vidal-Fleury and Combier. Generally good QPR here.
Cheers,

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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Rahsaan » Fri May 05, 2006 6:35 pm

Quote:
Did you have the 04 recently? I found it a parody of generic. But, it is seen in many places...



No. What problem did you have with the '04? Oak?


No not oak. I had it in November/December 05, which I guess was shortly after release, but it seemed so generic grapey. Perhaps it was just too young.
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by JoePerry » Fri May 05, 2006 8:15 pm

Thanks guys. I've enjoyed some of the bigger producers, but I haven't seen Robin or Belle (not that I have been looking much).

St. Joseph better? I've enjoyed some good ones but not enough in context of each other.

My problem with some of these wines is kind of how I feel about Gigondas. If I need to spend over $30, I may as well buy Cote-Rotie or Hermitage. You know?

So, I'd like to come up with some good $25 and under bottles. I actually don't mind the slutty Remizieres, though I'd like something a bit leaner to get my Rhone fix without committing infanticide or hitting my wallet too hard.

Best,
Joe
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by lewis.pasco » Fri May 05, 2006 9:29 pm

My last trip to France about 1.5 years ago I focused on drinking Northern Rhone reds within my budget (no Cote Roties or Hermitages), because I am now making varietal Syrah (well, we call it Shiraz). Chapoutier dissapointed, Graillot was uncharacteristically weak (2002), but finally I found a truly enjoyable Jean-Luc Colombo (probably a Crozes, but might've been St Jo). The waitress at the restuarant gave me a look of approval upon ordering it, knowing I was American from my accent. You are looking for something more concentrated than typical? You have made a good choice. I wish I could recall the vintage 03 or 02... but it was at least a step and perhaps head and shoulders above the others. A wine worth seeking if you appreciate a style that is somewhere between the classic Rhone and new world.
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Lee Short

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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Lee Short » Sat May 06, 2006 1:08 pm

My problem with some of these wines is kind of how I feel about Gigondas. If I need to spend over $30, I may as well buy Cote-Rotie or Hermitage. You know?


You need to make it to the Marche one of these years, Joe. It will bring enlightenment.
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Re: Other than Graillot...

by JoePerry » Sat May 06, 2006 8:23 pm

Next time there’s a good, even, vintage to drink I'll go. Tasting 02 and 03 would be less helpful for me. My buddies Mike, PMAC and David go regularly, plus acquaintances like Yaniger, Plotnicki and Moorehouse.

Good advice, that.
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Jeff in Halifax

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Re: Other than Graillot...

by Jeff in Halifax » Sat May 06, 2006 9:45 pm

Thor just posted favourably on the '01 Guigal on his blog....
You should care about what you drink - you do put it in your mouth, don't you?

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