The Graillot Project Syrah No. 2 2015
SPECIAL DOZEN BUY. Gorgeous Heathcote shiraz made by France’s most respected growers Alain Graillot from Hermitage .. 95 pts Campbell Mattinson of The Wine Front
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This is a collaboration between Bibendum importer, Robert Walters and Alain Graillot, one of France’s most respected wine growers from the leading Domaine in Crozes Hermitage. The Wine Spectator said of Graillot “ ..in the space of 17 years Alain Graillot has established a reputation for making his Crozes Hermitage the most sought after of the appellation. ..They are a special favourite with the most prestigious restaurants in France….”
Alain and Robert were very attracted by the idea of coming together to produce a sophisticated, restrained and linear expression of Australian Syrah from what they felt was a “special piece of dirt” in Heathcote Victoria. Alain Graillot, was recently described as “… the man who makes Syrah that tastes like Pinot...” His obsession with elegance shines through in his wines. The conditions of Alain’s involvement were simple: only if he was able to produce the highest quality wine with the kind of elegance for which he is renowned and that he likes to drink, would he be willing to put his name to this project. Initially fruit was sourced from across a single vineyard, yet now they work with only one plot (nicknamed ‘Clos Graillot’) an east-facing parcel of vines … the wines from this parcel consistently stood out for their fragrance, lacy fruit and elegant tannins.
“No 2 is a barrel selection and is fleshier, softer and more juicy than its sibling, (The Graillot Syrah) and is intended for earlier consumption. The firmer, more structured Syrah is sufficiently elegant to be enjoyed now, but will richly repay cellaring. “ James Halliday, The Weekend Australian.
From the producer …”2015 marks the second release for the Graillot Australia wines with Luke Lambert heading up the winemaking team. As always, both this wine (Syrah No.2) and the Graillot Syrah come from the same, 3.3 hectare vineyard. The Graillot Syrah tends to come from the top of the block while the Syrah No. 2 comes from further down the slope. Ultimately however the wines are made via a barrel selection with the aim being to select the most refined, perfumed and elegant barrels for the Graillot label.
Handpicked, a combination of whole bunch and destemmed fruit was transferred to open top fermenters of various sizes (from 1 tonne ‘flower pots’ to 4 tonne fermenters). It was then pressed off to large format, older wood for ageing for 13 months. No new oak was used in the élevage. 2015’s Syrah No. 2 contains approximately 50% whole bunch component, although the aim is certainly not to have any ‘stems’ character. Instead the winemaker hopes to utilise the finesse, structure and perfume that whole bunches can bring. Another exciting development is the inclusion of some parcels of Syrah that were fermented in a pure carbonic maceration style. No sulphur was added pre-ferment, no temperature control, and the wines were bottled without fining or filtration.
95 points, Campbell Mattinson, winefront.com.au “This is a fabulous shiraz/syrah. One sip and I was hooked. It bursts with aroma, is rich with fruit, comes laden with all manner of spice notes and extends gorgeously out and through the finish. It’s a complete wine. It plays a Siren song for the Heathcote region as a whole. It has texture, graphite, nut and herb notes oozing from its pores. Blue and black berried fruits. Just simply beautiful.”
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