Domaine des Hauts Chassis 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.
Domaine des Hauts Chassis Esquisse Crozes Hermitage 2017, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
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-Hermitage wines, but they are remarkable. From affable through to serious vin de garde.
Domaine des Hauts Chassis Esquisse Crozes Hermitage 2017 Winery Notes
“Limpid aspect, deep purple and violet colour with black and garnet-red reflections. Spicy on the nose and light reductant : black violet, zan, curcuma, black fruits, prune with alcohol, blackcurrant. Full, supple and fruity mouth, supported by silky tannins.”
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.
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.
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 opulent and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wine. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.