The Superb 2012 Crozes-Hermitages from Domaine Rousset!


(Les Picaudières)

Beginning with the 2009 vintage, and based on a recommendation from Jean Gonon, we have been featuring the wonderful Crozes-Hermitages and Saint-Joseph from Stéphan and Isabelle Rousset.  Stephane's great uncle was the legendary Raymond Roure, from whom the Roussets purchased the "Picaudières" vineyard in Gervans - it's one of the best vineyards in the region with terraces cut out of the granite and old vines planted in high density, dating back to the 1930s. Unlike most Crozes-Hermitage producers, all the Rousset's parcels are on slopes, mostly granite but with a small amount of clay-limestone as well, giving the wines more affinity to Hermitage than to the modern styles of forward and fruity Crozes-Hermitage grown on the flats. Which brings us to 2012, a vintage that we like in the northern Rhone, combining bright supple fruit, relatively low alcohol and great terroir expression. This is the best vintage we have received from the Roussets, with even the "basic" Crozes-Hermitage showing beautiful cool, complex fruit and oustanding minerality. The 2012 "Les Picaudières" is a superb northern Rhone Syrah that will repay three to five years of cellaring and will drink beautifully at least another ten to fifteen years. While the 2012 Saint-Joseph, from 40 to 65 year-old vines in "Les Rivoires" above Tournon, is tighter and less forward, it's a unique wine of terroir with dark, distinctive fruit. And don't overlook the Rousset's 2013 Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, from 50 to 90 year-old Marsanne vines which offers lovely flavors of lemon, stone, pear and spice - it's a fabulous value!

The Roussets are not exactly media stars - they're happy to sell their wines to local customers and restaurants. You won't find a website or reviews in the press, but these are among the finest values in the northern Rhone Valley and they deserve your attention!

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered