Cuilleron Crozes-Hermitage Laya – Practicing Organic
The Cuilleron family Domaine, located in the hamlet of Verlieu (part of the town of Chavanay) was founded several generations ago (1920). Yves Cuilleron’s grandfather was the first to bottle wine for commercial purposes in 1947. Antoine Cuilleron, the uncle and immediate predecessor of Yves, assumed control of the Domaine in 1960 and significantly increased the percentage of wine bottled at the estate and extended the scope of the Domaine. Yves assumed full ownership and direction of the Domaine in 1987 and, since that time, has built an entirely new facility while at the same time acquiring additional vineyard property. The Domaine is now (as of 2012) significantly larger in scope with 52 hectares of vineyards that cover multiple appellations, including principally, Condrieu, Saint Joseph Rouge and Blanc, Cote Rotie, Saint Péray, and a series of Vin de Pays from the Collines Rhodaniennes.
Yves Cuilleron has established himself as one of the leading lights of France’s Northern Rhône region. He’s a modernist, but not overly so: his wines straddle neatly the divide between traditionalists and the new-wave, in the sense that they retain their sense of place, but express their site in a slightly more approachable, immediate way. There’s a purity to the fruit, and where new oak is used it isn’t excessive.
The Crozes Hermitage Laya comes from two hectares of vines from the “Malfondière” plot situated just south of Tain l’Hermitage. Laya is an old name district of Tain l’Hermitage. This is obviously all Syrah from deep, stony, sandy, loamy soils. The grapes are handpicked; and then sorted, crushed and partially destemmed in the cellar. Fermented in open top, temperature-controlled vats for about 3 weeks, with regular cap-punching and pumping-over. Alcoholic fermentation in vats with native yeasts and malolactic fermentation in barrels. The wine is then left to age for 16 months before bottling.
This is a rich, full-bodied version of Crozes with deep black-fruit notes. This is a substantial wine with plenty of ripeness and acidity.