Crozes-Hermitage, an ambassador wine of the Northern Rhône
In terms of surface area, it is the largest appellation in the Northern Rhône Valley. Covering more than 1,650 hectares, the Crozes-Hermitage vineyard offers red wines that are a regular feature on restaurant tables. Surrounding the prestigious Hermitage appellation, the AOC benefits from a favourable environment and allows the qualities of the Syrah grape to express themselves, a grape variety for which it is a perfect ambassador. With an excellent quality-price ratio, Crozes-Hermitage or Crozes-ermitage wines can easily be added to your cellar. They can be joined by rare but no less interesting white wines.
General presentation of crozes-hermitage
It is around the communes of Crozes-Hermitage and Tain-l'Hermitage, straddling the 45th parallel, that this wine of the Northern Rhône Valley is produced. A dozen other communes in the Drôme are also included in this vast appellation area.
It is located on the left bank of the river, north of Valence. It faces Tournon and the AOC Saint Joseph. The Crozes-Hermitage AOC area also surrounds the famous Hermitage hill where one of the great Rhône crus is produced.
Here, Syrah dominates. This exceptional grape variety produces high quality red wines. It can be blended with white grapes such as Roussanne and Marsanne, up to a limit of 10%. Marsanne dominates for the white wines of Crozes-Hermitage. Its generosity is combined with the finesse of the Roussanne to produce great white wines. However, they are quite rare, representing barely 10% of the production.
Characteristics of Crozes-Hermitage
The red wines of Crozes-Hermitage develop a beautiful aromatic palette based on red fruits. Floral aromas tinged with violets also develop, with hints of leather and spices. With ageing, they evolve towards dried fruits. Their brilliant colour is vermilion. These wines can be kept for about 3 to 5 years. However, certain vintages offer greater ageing potential.
As for the white wines of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation, it is the white flowers that dominate the nose and the tasting. They are always fresh and balanced.
How to taste a crozes-hermitage
Red Crozes-hermitage wines are the perfect accompaniment to an entire meal. When young, they are best drunk at a temperature of 15°. When they have aged, serve them at around 17°. In their early years, the reds go well with rabbit and poultry dishes. When older, they are perfect with red meat and game, as well as duck. The red Crozes-Hermitage AOC wines also perfectly reveal the flavours of Saint-Marcellin, the region's flagship cheese.
White Crozes-Hermitage wines are best enjoyed chilled and are perfect as an aperitif. They also go well with fish and seafood dishes: grilled trout fillet, flambéed scallops, American-style langoustine, oysters, lobster, etc. They are also an ally of cheese dishes, such as raclette or fondue.