The Graillot Project Syrah No. 2 2016
6 PACK BUY. Gorgeous Heathcote shiraz made by France’s most respected growers Alain Graillot from Hermitage
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.
There was no ‘No. 1’ made in 2016 so all of the parcels ended up in this wine. The resulting Syrah No. 2 is already highly perfumed with sappy, pungent notes of lavender, pine forest and an intriguing hint of sandalwood. The palate is fleshy and expansive with a core of sweet dark cherry and ripe plum fruit complexed with hints of meat juice, liquorice, and Szechuan spice. There’s loads of spice and pepper to close and terrific coolness that we love. It’s still settling down from bottling (November 2017) and you can expect more and more finesse and flesh as it comes together. For now don’t be scared to give it air. It is excellent the following day after opening, and even the day after that, which makes it perfect for pouring by the glass, hint hint! As has been the case for a number of years, there was zero new oak used in the maturation and the alcohol clocks in at the low 13’s.
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