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2017 Laurent Fayolle Croze-Hermitage ‘Clos Les Cornirets’

$53

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Deep, glistening ruby. Expansive blackberry and cherry compote flavors are complemented by hints of exotic spices, incense and olive. Round and fleshy but energetic as well, offering intense black and blue fruit liqueur and spicecake flavors underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. A smoky note comes up on the youthfully tannic finish, which hangs on with strong, spice- and mineral-driven tenacity. This an extremely successful wine for its appellation and at the quality level of many Hermitages. – Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media

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Laurent Fayolle is the 6th generation to run this small family estate in the Northern Rhône village of Gervans. In 2002, when his father and uncle split up the family domaine amongst their children, Laurent took control of 7 hectares of prime heirloom parcels (many over 60 years old) in the granite hills located on the backside of the hill of Hermitage. The slopes found in this area around Gervans, Crozes-Hermitage and Larnage are part of the original Crozes-Hermitage classification from 1937 (the southern sections of Les Chassis and Mercurol were added in 1952) due to their close resemblance to the noble hill that looms over them.

Once at the helm, his first action was to convert everything to organic farming. Along with his light touch in the cellar (which includes a soft extraction and use of concrete and minimal new wood), he is able to take the incredible raw materials from the complex terroirs he farms (terraced granite and loess slopes, limestone, round river galets) and create wines of supreme elegance and refinement. This is “Grand Cru” Crozes at its absolute finest.

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