Guigal 2001 Crozes-Hermitage (Rhône) – Well-sweated leather and bright raspberry acid without the raspberry (except as a lingering memory of its presence) with a slightly fruity-vegetal tannin that’s not at all unpleasant…though it probably could be a little less green. The density increases with air. A nice, basic, almost introductory Crozes-Hermitage for early-term drinking.
Guigal’s quality has undergone a bit of an upsurge in recent years, with both better cellar and vineyard work and a more strict reliance on traditional typicities. That makes this wine (100% syrah from an overly-expansive vignoble) a bit of a find, since Crozes-Hermitage is pretty much the most dismal of the well-known Northern Rhône appellations; of what’s commonly available, only Graillot does reliably excellent work. This isn’t anywhere near the quality of Graillot’s wine, but it’s quite good in its own fashion, and shows its terroir to solid effect. Alcohol: 12.5%. Closure: cork. Importer: Ex Cellars. Web: http://www.guigal.com/.