Alan Graillot Syrocco Syrah 2013
The new vintage of Alain Graillot's elegant, juicy Syrocco Syrah from Morocco est arrivé. Graillot is one of the world's great Syrah producers, arguably the finest in the Rhône's Crozes-Hermitage appellation.
The story has it that Alain Graillot was cycling in Morocco (hence the tandem bike and palm tree on the label) when he stopped off at Domaine des Ouleb Thaleb, 40km inland from the Atlantic Ocean in the lee of the spectacular Middle Atlas Mountains. A conversation with the Domaine's then oenologist, Jacques Poullaine, and a close look at sites in Rommani and Benslimane convinced Graillot of the potential for producing highly elegant Syrah.
The towns of Rommani and Benslimane lie between Casablanca on the Atlantic Ocean and the Middle Atlas Mountains. As such, there is a relatively cool climate thanks to the ocean breezes and an altitude of about 500m. The soil is a mix of red and black clay over a base of limestone and ancient ocean bed remnants, as well as schist on the higher slopes. The Syrah vines are 10-40 years old. Overseen by Stéphane Mariot, the vineyard work is meticulous, with goblet pruning, hand weeding and hand ploughing, no herbicide or fungicide treatments are used. The grapes were 100% de-stemmed and fermented in closed concrete vats. Daily pump-overs were done, and maceration was completed in 10 days. The wine was aged for 15 months, first in tanks and then finished in barriques from François Frères.
In a mixed or straight case: $37.04