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 production but they also source some 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.
60% Grenache 40% Syrah from 50-year-old vines. 100% unoaked goodness. Mulberry, meaty, clean, bright. One of the younger drinking wines. Now – 2028.
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.
The generic appellation of the Rhone Valley. It can produce white, rosé or red wines. They are often blends of a few of the local wines. Quality can range from very low to some that rival the best wines the region. Knowing the good producers is the key to picking a good wine from this appellation.
Spain’s gift to the world. We know it as Grenache and I think everyone has a soft spot for it in some way. Almost too exuberant in expressing its sweet red fruits and high alcohol, it often needs a bit of other wines to add moderation, structure and depth. Much like Abbott and Costello. Despite this, the wines of Priorat, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rioja and Aussie GSMs have an amazing ability to age for the long-term.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on 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 aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.