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A gorgeous evocation of very ripe syrah from the northern Rhône in a vintage marked by a long, hot summer. All blueberry and blackberry flavours with a sprinkling of spice.
Product Code: RH57621
View all products by Domaine des Alexandrins
Alexandre Caso and Guillaume Sorrel are the men behind Domaine des Alexandrins. Having begun the enterprise as an agency supplying specialised labour for vineyard work, Alexandre’s first employee was Guillaume, son of renowned winemaker Marc Sorrel. The business did so well that Alexandre soon offered Guillaume a partnership. Having made a success of their business they then decided to diversify a little and rented some neglected vines in Saint-Joseph in 2009, a hectare in Crozes-Hermitage in 2011 and a further parcel of Saint-Joseph at Tournon in 2012. They now control some 10 hectares in total. Using the facilities of Chapoutier, Marc Sorrel and now their own winery at Mercurol they have made a variety of wines. They use no pesticides or herbicides and work each vineyard with real respect for the environment. The harvest is all done by hand and brought to the stone walled winery where bunches are destemmed and fermented in concrete followed by a three day maceration. The wines are then aged between one and four years in barrel. The results are very promising indeed.
A narrow, funnel-shaped vineyard extends on both sides of the Rhône from Vienne in the north to Valance in the south. The scenery is often dramatic with many of the vineyards perched precariously on the steep valley sides. The wines match the scenery: deeply coloured, fine, spicy reds made from the syrah grape and rich, full-bodied whites made from marsanne and roussanne grapes, or the more aromatic viognier up in Condrieu. Granite, sandy silica and clay soils predominate though small traces of limestone may also be found in Hermitage, Crozes and Cornas. Production here is relatively small, accounting for less than 3% of the total for the Rhône Valley. Most of the wines are sold by appellation with three being white only, two red only and three others where both red and white can be made. The appellation Côtes-du-Rhône is rarely seen in the north and may well disappear altogether. On the other hand, full use is made of the vin de pays/vin de France category which allows producers to make slightly simpler wines from young vines or from vines that for one reason or another were not included in any appellation.Seyssuel There is no appellation Seyssuel. These steep vineyards on the left bank close to Vienne were once famous but fell into obscurity after phylloxera wiped them out in the 19th century. Since the late 1990s, however, there has been a move to reclaim this valuable land for the vine. Many growers are involved here and the results are extremely good. The wines are broadly similar to Côte-Rôtie in style but maybe riper and more dramatic, the vines, after all, face the evening sun and there is more heat here than in Côte-Rôtie. Full appellation status is probably just a few years away after the efforts of Ogier, Villard and Villa have done so much to put it on the map.Côte-Rôtie Red only. The “roasted slope”, only half an hour’s drive south of Beaujolais, this northernmost outpost of the syrah grape produces wines that at times can match Burgundy for delicacy and charm. The vineyard is very steep with an incline of as much as 60 degrees. Guigal is the most important producer attracting the highest prices, but there are dozens of smallholders making interesting wines. Guigal has made new oak very fashionable and many growers use it sometimes to excess.Condrieu White only from the viognier grape. The scent of apricot in a good example of Condrieu is almost intoxicating. Rapid expansion of vineyards means that there are lots of young vines and therefore wines that lack substance, so there is good reason to get to know the better growers, such as André Perret, François Villard and Christophe Pichon, and follow them..Saint-Joseph Reds from syrah and whites from marsanne and roussanne; reds are more exciting. The best Saint-Josephs have class and can be good value. Some of the best slopes are only now being replanted after years of neglect, so huge potential. Many top producers have started to bring out single-vineyard Saint-Josephs. All can be brilliant and though pricey, offer better value than top-end Côte-Rôties for example. Look for the grower’s name. Crozes-Hermitage Reds are made from syrah and whites from marsanne and roussanne. Crozes-Hermitage accounts for more than half of the northern Rhône and its wines are plentiful and accessible. Reds are better than whites. Crozes-Hermitage comes in two parts. The largest is on the flat, close to the river and what would have been a river bed. It produces deeply coloured reds that are soft and fruity and without question a perfect introduction to the syrah of the north. The other part is behind the hill of Hermitage, sometimes on granite but mostly on white clay and limestone. This is the historic heart of Crozes producing wines of interest and substance and the whites from here can be outstanding too.Hermitage Syrah for reds, marsanne with a little roussanne for whites. This amazing southfacing slope has the greatest pedigree of any wine in the Rhône Valley. Its complex geology ensures added interest and complexity and in good years, Hermitage may sit at the highest tables. The downside is that the quality and reputation of Hermitage wines from the best producers means that there is a very limited supply of the best wines, and prices are set to rise.Cornas Red only from syrah. It is a small appellation nestling in a half amphitheatre of mostly granite, all facing fully south. The climate here is significantly warmer so Cornas is often among the first to harvest. Wines are black, thick and often tannic in their youth. Style is changing and quality is on the up, almost matching Hermitage. Cornas remains an uncompromising wine and rewards good food. Always decant.Saint-Péray White only made from marsanne and roussanne. The granite of Cornas gives way to limestone. The wines have more acidity and keep well. For some unaccountable reason, historically, most of the wine was sparkling but mercifully things are changing. There is big potential for fine whites. Producer’s name is essential. The Drôme Valley This is a major tributary of the Rhône that rises in the Alps and joins up with the Rhône to the south of Valence. At the western end there are a few vineyards, mostly of syrah and sold as Côtes-du- Rhône Brézème. This is rare, very little known and amazingly good-value source for Crozes-like reds. Further east, the landscape becomes more mountainous and the grapes mostly white, clairette and muscat and wines are mostly sparkling. Clairette de Die is light and sweet, a bit like Italian Asti, while Crémant de Die is dry and full-flavoured.
The 2019 Rhône vintage continued this region’s run of excellent vintages with surely the boldest statement yet. Of past vintages, 1990 springs to mind for the purity of fruit and ripeness of the tannins, but on a much bigger scale.The climate of course played its part in full and as in previous years, heat and drought were overriding factors that shaped the destiny of this vintage. But that is not the whole story. What is exceptional about the 2019 vintage is that the wines are not lacking in acidity and therefore have freshness. Stranger still, pH values, a good way of assessing a vintage, are often quite low.So what were the ‘X’ factors that make 2019 so special? For a start, though there were indeed times of drought, ground water was never really lacking. Autumn rainfall had been plentiful enough. Temperatures for the first months of the year remain on the cool side. Then there was much needed rain in April and May, just when the vine needed it most before flowering. For most, these would be the last rains until the end of August. And then of course was the heat – sometimes excessive with peaks occasionally exceeding 40C – but never constant, and temperatures at night remained relatively cool, allowing the vine to rest. Late summer rains come as a relief and is then followed by a final heatwave in September, setting the harvest in a blaze of sunshine.Everywhere made exceptional wines. Both the northern and southern Rhône produced brilliant 2019s. The grenache grape knows all about heat, but what was remarkable was the quality of the so-called ‘second-tier’ varieties such as cinsault and counoise. Such conditions are not common in the north, but the vine adapts and there was no water shortage. That said, the syrahs from the north are like nothing before: so dark, brooding and strong. ‘Flamboyance’ is a word that crops up in tasting notes and is a truly apt one in describing these wines. Speaking to a grower with the gift of synaesthesia, the colour red in all its shades, seemed to define this vintage.
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"Very rich and soppisticated, we had it with Christmas dinner and it didn't disappoint."
Dr Katharine Jenkins (09-Apr-2021)
"Drinking this with roast gammon was pure pleasure. Yes, all the hedgerow fruit and rounded winter spice you would hope for from a good C-H: would it be too pretentious to describe this as a 'kind'wine? Don't care if it is; at this stage of lockdown, that was how it felt.
And now it's all gone; bah!"
Mr Bill J Badley (31-Jan-2021)
"A beauty! Very smooth but with good complexity. I will buy more. "
Mr Duncan Spooner (15-Dec-2020)
"We enjoyed this beautiful wine. Had it on a cold dreary Sunday evening with a super home made Cock au Vin followed by myrtle tart. How French is that. No doubt we will buy this one again."
Mr Richard Barwick (29-Nov-2020)
"I enjoyed this wine. It is unmistakably old world syrah - a little generic perhaps without any especially noteworthy features, but isn't that what you want sometimes, the familiarity of an old friend? Nicely balanced at a reasonable price. Though I do like Bordeaux and Burgundy, the Rhone offers much better value imho."
Mr Christopher Winter (01-Aug-2020)
"Interesting reading previous reviews as I found this a little disappointing- it was pleasant but (to my jaded palate) offering no more complexity or flavour than the society’s Cotes de Rhône or Syrah based Cotes de Thongue at half this price point. "
Mr David Welland (29-Sep-2020)
Mr Bradley Eagle (19-Jul-2020)
"Excellent - some real complexity and fruit. Would definitely buy this again."
Mr Philip Ingleby (02-Jul-2020)
"I absolutely love this beautiful wine.
Such a brilliant construction.
It may be that I somehow got a bottle with the wrong label, there were tastes that I have never come across before.
I hardly dare open the next bottle for fear that it will not be as good!
Mr Grenville Collins (01-Jul-2020)
Dr Matt Noble (11-May-2020)
Mr Matthew Savage (03-May-2020)
"A txt book Syrah. Plenty of black fruit with spice and pepper. "
Mr Tom Rodger (16-Aug-2019)
"Excellent wine. Lots of dark fruit on the nose and a hint of pepper."
Ms Louisa Mason (23-May-2019)
"Very good Crozes Hermitage for the price. Better than the 2012 Domaine de Thalabert in my opinion. Dark, dense nose. Initially quite closed but opened up in decanter after a few hours and started to show some meatiness. The nose has an interesting baked element which I liked. Give this a decant for 4 hours. Fragrant from far. I think this wine delivers better on the palate. Savoury, quite complex, and satisfying with some stony element. Full bodied. Tannins imperceptible. Sweet long finish. Good balance of acidity."
Mr Ming Yao Chong (27-Nov-2018)
"Having noted the rave reviews of this wine I was looking forward to tasting. It all started badly when the cork came out in 2 pieces. I decanted for 4 hours and although there was a noticeable difference before and after, On the nose there was some type of fuel, my wife reckoned red wine vinegar. Tasted a small amount of fruit but nothing stood out. There was definite if not a bit overpowering spice, in fact I had a touch of heartburn after I had 2 glasses. My experience of this wine seems to be contrary to most every other persons. The wine was delivered yesterday, maybe I shouldn’t have opened it but waited a while, but I really wanted to taste having already put a case in reserves. Hopefully when I take it out of reserves in the future I will enjoy it more."
Mr Gordon Allan (27-Nov-2018)
"An outstanding wine, one of my favourites. Except for the fact that I like variety in my wine consumption I could quite easily drink nothing else."
Mr N E Rimmell (23-Oct-2018)
"Lovely Northern Rhone red. Decanted for 3 hours. Dark plum in colour with savoury and black fruits on the nose. These characteristics were also very prominent when tasting. Slightly tart finish with very well balanced tannins. "
Mr Tom Rodger (05-Oct-2018)
"I bought the Jaboulet "les Jalets" and this Perrin Crozes in order to compare and contrast.
This wine after 4 hours in the decanter morphed into utter deliciousness. A nose of black and red berries, and on the palate quite exceptional, If you enjoy Northern Rhone Syrah, you have a treat in store. Why it only got a Silver in the Wine Challenge is beyond me, but there it is.
Not sure how long this one will last on the list, I'm sure that a Christmas approaches it will fly out of the door.
Just make sure that you got your share, 2015 was a 10/10 vintage in N, Rhone and this example perfectly demonstrates how wonderful it was!!
Soorat Singh Esq (03-Oct-2018)
"Bought half a case of this to fill a gap while some 2015 Delas Crozes bought EP matures, and after the first bottle, very glad I did. Full, rich, powerful and surprisingly complex with lots of dark fruit and a touch of smokiness. Needs a good decant at this stage of it's life, but opens up nicely after a couple of hours. I can definitely see myself having to go back for more of this before the 2020 drinking window on the Delas comes around - if there is any left! "
Mr Matthew Huntingford (12-Sep-2018)
"This is really very good. Deep crimson colour. Savoury, black olive nose, rarher closed at first. Initial impression: some tannin, smoky, structured palate. With herbed chicken thighs and as it opens out, a lovely intense and harmonious, fruity, food friendly wine which will improve with time. I ordered a quantity of the '15 Perrin Crozes en primeur, yet to be delivered. If, as I suspect, this is essentially the same wine- jackpot!"
Mr Roger Ogle (07-Mar-2018)
"Tried two bottles of this over the weekend. The first had almost two hours in a decanter & was underwhelming. I then read the reviews and thought I could do better! So second bottle three + hours in a decanter and it’ as a different wine, delicious. Lesson learned. "
Mrs Amanda Parker (27-Aug-2019)
"I beg to differ from other reviewers. My tasting note is that as a Society wine rather than an Exhibition wine (and therefor at a lower price point) it might have cut the mustard but I think the Exhibition label promises a certain level of quality that this did not reach. I tried four bottles of this before making up my mind and found it lacking in fruit, austere and unappealing. And It is difficult to make syrah unappealing. Perhaps it is just that Crozes is not my thing. Given that other reviews are so positive I hesitate to be dogmatic and only suggest you try one bottle first before going to a case."
Mr Peter McFarlane (08-Nov-2017)
"I'm not a fan of Syrah in general but this is excellent . Beautiful black fruit compote nose, generous and with enough acidity to make it a great food wine. Hints of graphite and oak, opened up nicely in the glass."
Mr Rafael Goncalves (07-Apr-2017)
Mr Eain Green (28-Nov-2016)
"This went beautifully well with smoked duck breast. Slightly closed on the nose but a deliciously balanced and well structured wine. Recommend."
Mr James Ashworth (18-Sep-2016)
Mr Jason Mossman (17-Aug-2016)
"Disappointing, no real concentration but not faulty. It brings into question my decision to purchase en primeur the Perrin-Jaboulet Crozes 2013. I really hope that this is NOT the same wine that I purchased and sits in my reserves."
Soorat Singh Esq (17-Apr-2017)
"Pleasant but insipid. This not feel at all like a Northern Rhone, no kick whatsoever. Disappointing, especially for an 'Exhibition' wine."
Mr Steven Ronksley (04-Jul-2016)
"Chocolate with a blackcurrant finish . Lacked some of the weight I would normally associate with a Northern Rhone Syrah"
Mr Duraiswamy S Rajan (03-Jul-2016)
"Its Ok ...but did not speak to me. Not in the same price to value league as some of the other WS wines I've tried."
Mr Robert Summers (20-Jun-2016)
"Surprisingly smooth. Dark fruits and bitter herbs, with a hint of liquorice.The tannins give excellent grip."
Mr Bruce Marson (29-Apr-2016)
The Times (21st Nov 2015)
Crozes-Hermitage. Any of you serving pheasant or grouse should snap up this
gorgeous, warming winter spice-licked Victoria plum, bramble and
mulberry-layered red. - Jane MacQuitty"
The Observer (15th Nov 2015)
"…The Wine Society,
whose own-brand offerings from the northern Rhône include Hermitage from the
legendary JL Chave and this peppery syrah from the Maison Nicolas Perrin
stable. - David Williams"
thewinegang.com (3rd Nov 2015)
"Made by top Rhône
negociant Nicolas Perrin (formed by the northern Rhône's Jaboulet family and
the Perrins of the south), this a beautifully judged 100% Syrah, all sinewy
tannin and crunchy blackberry and raspberry, with an undercurrent of savoury
meatiness and peppery seasoning, and finishing appetisingly fresh. 89/100"
"Very fruity, lovely colour and delicious."
Mr Dean Dundas (23-Apr-2015)
"Very nice with all the flavours you would expect from a Rhone red with some ageing potential."
Mr David Jones-Percival (24-Sep-2014)
"Very happy with this wine. Just what you expect from a quality Crozes-Hermitage."
Mr Geoffrey Seabrook (29-Jun-2014)
"Subtle fruits, perhaps blackberry, but fresh not jammy, hint of cedarwood, medium to full, not as full on as a syrah but a quality, subtle full mouthful. Well made, clever, enjoyable, value."
Mr Charles Stokes (08-Dec-2013)
"Since my enthusiastic review in March I have tasted 8 bottles of this wine. Each had the same lovely blackcurrant bouquet of Syrah. However the wine tastes lean and astringent which is even more pronounced next day. I have been unable to finish several bottles. My bottles were certainly not "brimming with dark-fruit flavours" as described by The WS. A big disappointment for what is called "an important wine for The Society". The last reviewer seems similarly let down. What do other members think?"
Raymond A Fulton (08-Dec-2013)
"This is pretty awful stuff. It has notes of cabbage and a herbaceous character rather than the ripe black fruit and pepper I was expecting. Why is the quality of the Exhibition Range so variable? By comparison, the Rioja and the Malbec in the range are lovely and great value for money."
Mr James Williamson (06-May-2013)
"Lovely refined Syrah bouquet. Very fresh, medium-bodied blackberry fruit. Finishes quite dry but softens with airing. Vast improvement on Exhibition Crozes 2009. Well done WS for decision to change source."
Raymond A Fulton (13-Mar-2013)
Richmond & Twickenham Times (1st Nov 2013)
blackcurrant, tangy, tarry fruit gums nose with a juicy tangy blackcurrant
flavour with a hint of tar and a lovely tartness to the luscious ripe jammy
fruit. Parfait! - John McNerney"
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