Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 en primeur Northern Rhone tasting (see blue link below).
Domaine les Alexandrins, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2016 - Oct 2017 Decanter review
Domaine Les Alexandrins was founded in 2009 by two friends, viticulturalist: Alexandre Caso and winemaker: Guillaume Sorrel, son of Hermitage producer Marc Sorrel. The cellar, located in the village of Mercurol, is in a 17th century farmhouse right on the plain of Crozes-Hermitage. In 2015, they partnered with Nicolas Jaboulet under the same name Domaine and Maison Les Alexandrins. As the name suggests, the wines from Domaine Les Alexandrins are made from fruit which comes from their own vineyards.
The wines come from 12 hectares of vineyards that are sustainably farmed, four of which are in Crozes-Hermitage. The vineyards are planted on clay and sand soils located in the villages of Pont d’Isère (Les Flouris) and Beaumont Monteux (Vie Magne). The climate here is semi-continental.
2016 has been hailed as a great vintage but it wasn’t without its challenges. The growing season did not get off to a great start. Spring was marked by cloudy and wet weather. Hail storms also posed a threat with some loss of yield yet luckily it was early enough in the season for vines to recover vegetative growth. As a result of this weather, flowering and budburst were delayed. The summer months were very hot and without rain which halted some ripening but sorely needed rain fell at the beginning of September allowing ripening to continue. Fortunately, good weather then resumed until harvest, which resulted in fruit of good quality and moderate alcohol levels.
Grapes for this wine were hand harvested then taken to the winery where they were 100% destemmed. Cold maceration lasted for three days prior to fermentation. Once fermentation began, the must had two pump overs and two punch downs daily to ensure optimum extraction of colour and aromatics from the skins. Fermentation to dryness took 20 days before the wine was aged in barrels for between 12 -18 months prior to bottling.
This wine is deeply coloured with a purple hue. On the nose, it is concentrated and rich with notes of blackcurrant, blackberries, sweet spice and hints of smokiness. The palate is smooth and well-balanced with red and black fruit notes framed by fine grained tannins and bright acidity.