The Crozes-Hermitage Terre d’éclat from Sébastien Girard is made from grapes grown on one parcel with 35-year-old vines. The harvest is completed manually at optimum maturity and the fruit is carefully sorted to use only healthy and ripe grapes with perfectly balanced acidity and sugar content. The maceration is longer on this wine: It undergoes a hot running off to extract soft tannins, and then it is barrel aged 12 months. This wine offers a beautifully dense and smooth substance, marked by aromas of cocoa and coffee. An excellent value that can be enjoyed as of now, but will age beautifully at least ten years. A must-try for Syrah fans!
Dark garnet red colour with purple highlights. Expressive nose of cocoa, mocha, black fruit and spices. The palate is rich, smooth and has mineral and smoky notes upon which black fruit and fig aromas are revealed. Good acidity and silky tannins extend onto a black tea and incense finish.
Charcuterie, red meat, venison and chocolate cake
Terraces of rolled pebbles, with a presence of red clay
Biodynamic farming. Viticulture and vineyard work are done so as to promote the natural balance between flora, fauna and microbial life. The grapes come from old vines, aged on average 35 years
Long maceration and spontaneous fermentation around 28° C with indigenous yeasts. Daily pump-overs to encourage the development of aromas. Hot running off and 12 months of barrel aging
The 2012 Crozes Hermitage Terre d'Éclat is more forward, rounded and supple than the 2013, with medium-bodied depth and richness, low acidity and a charming personality. It has lots of black raspberry, spiced meats and toast aromas and flavors, and will drink nicely for 5-7 years.
The Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck - 89-91 points
Located in the heart of northern Rhône in the town of Mercurol, the Domaine de la ville rouge produces wines in two appellations (AOC), as well as vins de pays wines. The top priority for Sébastien Girard and his wife remains rigorous organic viticulture. The couple is currently working on converting the estate to biodynamics , which they hope to complete in a few years. All work is performed manually: de-budding, tying-up, green harvesting, the harvest and winter pruning. The grapes are sorted in the vineyard and on cellar sorting tables for a maximum yield of 35 hectoliters per hectare. The estate produces mainly reds from the Syrah grape that dominates the northern Côtes du Rhône. The Marsanne and Roussanne varietals are used for their whites.
With an average yearly rainfall of 840 mm, the northern Rhône Valley receives much more precipitation than the southern Rhône. This explains the many differences between the wines produced in these two regions. The most majestic Rhône wines – Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Hermitage –are all from the northern part. Nearby are other top quality terroirs such as Cornas, Saint-Jospeh and Crozes-Hermitage. Unfortunately, the Saint-Joseph appellation has considerably expanded since 1969 and this has led to irregularities in terms of quality compared to the original zone, which was grown on the steep granite and river banks. The best Saint-Joseph wines are located around the towns of Mauve, Glun and Tournon. On these hills, the Syrah grape expresses the minerality of the soil which is very different from that of the plains between Tournon and the Condrieu appellation.
In northern Rhône, vines are perched on hillsides of eroded granite terraces and benefit from an ideal exposure. Syrah rules over the region, but the white grape varieties Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier are also perfectly suited to the schist and mica terroirs. The Condrieu appellation has a similar soil composition, and the Viognier grown there develops a unique and intoxicating scent. Producers can add up to 20% of Viognier to the Syrah, the essential element of the wines produced in the other appellations.
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