The Gilles Robin 1920 Vines is the oldest vines on the estate. The name references when the estate was formed as the oldest vines are from the 1940s. The grapes are aged in 600-litre demi-muid where most of the Syrah goes into 225L barriques. I visited the Robin cellars in April 2019. I got to taste this wine, along with the whole range. It is sheer quality and the ageing potential is unreal. It is so good I bought a bottle home with me. If you want a wine to drink, try their Papillon, or Cuvee Alberic Leave this for 15 years and you’ll be very happy.
The Gilles Robin family were growers in Crozes-Hermitage for generations but were selling the harvest to a local co-op until 1995. With 15 hectares to exploit and some mature plots at that the family was in a good position to start making their own wines. Crozes-Hermitage is their main product but they also source Cornas, Saint Joseph, and Hermitage too. A modern maker with nods to the old school (hand picking, organic growing) his wines are pretty taut and firm with some serious complexity in there too.
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 offers great quality and even better value.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on the terroir and/or winemaker 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 ageing but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.