Domaine des Hauts Chassis is located in the south of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation. The estate is 17 hectares spread across Crozes, Condrieu, Hermitage, St Peray and St Joseph. I’ve only tried through their red Crozes wines, but they are remarkable. From affible throught to serious vin de garde.
Esquisse is made without oak to retain freshness. It shows the mineral edge, currants and space that is classic of Crozes with some soft tannins and zingy acid. Spice, earth and game play a supporting role. This is a wine to drink now. Pair with rabbit.
One of the great wine regions in the world. Situated along the Rhone river in South East France there is a distinct divide between the Syrah dominant North where the Mistral wind cools and regulates the temperature and the hot lands in the South where Grenache is at its peak. The region produces everything from easy going quaffers to wines that demand long term cellaring. Whites can be outstanding such as Viognier made in Condrieu and Rosé makes a fair impression too.
Not instantly as recognisable or as loved as fellow Northern Rhone appellations like Cote Rotie, Saint Joseph or Hermitage. But as John Livingstone-Learmonth says “terroir is alive and well at Crozes-Hermitage!”. A huge variation in geology as well as grower outlook means the wines are anything from lean, mineral and taut to Barossa style Syrah. There is a handful of fantastic quality wines that rival anything in the Rhone. The next tier down offer great quality and even better value.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or wine maker influence. The Syrah based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.