“Though Hermitage is still king of the northern Rhone appellations, the larger, more heterogeneous Crozes-Hermitage is the region's rising star, thanks to topflight winemakers like Alain 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. In spite of only 20 hectares of vineyards, his wines are sold world wide on an allocation basis only. They are a special favourite with the most prestigious restaurants in France and elsewhere. Alain has a passion for the Syrah grape from which he makes hand crafted wines of great distinction and enormous elegance.”The Wine Spectator
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. You only have to look at it to see that this was once an ancient river bed. The stones are in fact of Alpine origin, left behind when the nearby Isére River changed course in some ancient era. Anyway, it’s always refreshing when the wines live up to the scenery and round at Alain’s place, they really do.