Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage, 2006 (Aug. 22, 2009)

I was a jejune taster when WineRoute imported the 2000 Crozes seven years ago. The next vintage was the 2002, which, despite the acclaim bestowed on it by one demented reviewer, was a mediocre wine that just barely managed to escape the very worst of that vintage's abysmal faults. So this is my first real encounter with a good Graillot Crozes, which I bought at WineRoute for about 130 NIS, if I'm not mistaken.

Right off the bat, before the wine has a chance to truly open up, I am enchanted by the nose. Very Syrah, very Rhone, with rich black fruit and spicy/peppery notes. Not a blockbuster, folks, although it hits the ground running and takes off as it airs. The palate is still primal and tannic but has a suave, saline finish. This wine is truly all I expect from a young middle-weight Syrah though it will have to integrate its tannins - not to mention its acidity, which at its core is very graceful only right now it is very adolescent and loud - and then I think it will show as decently elegant wine. It should be an interesting voyage.