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  • Julien Cecillon Crozes Hermitage "Les Marguerites" 2014

Julien Cecillon Crozes Hermitage "Les Marguerites" 2014

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There are only a certain number of choice, steeply-sloped parcels in Crozes Hermitage. If you're a young winemaker in the Northern Rhone, what parcels you are given the opportunity to buy depends on a combination word of mouth, charm, and luck— and it helps if you have a Texan on your side. Julien Cecillon may be a 9th-generation Rhone winemaker, but it is his Houstonian wife Nancy who found their plot of 80-year old vines in Crozes. And we're thrilled she did! The majority of Crozes-Hermitage is from the flat plains in the appellation, and only a few, like the Cecillon's parcel are on the Hermitage hill. This is baby Hermitage, farmed and vinified in the right hands. 

This may be only fourth vintage for Julien but he's already shown that he's inherited the winemaking genes from his uncle, famed Rhone winemaker Jean-Louis Grippat. Julien now sits comfortably next to producers like Chave, Gonon, and Clape on Michelin-starred wine lists.

 If the 2014 vintage was uneven for the Northern Rhone as a whole  — the region saw hail and some Drosophilia flies — where it was good, it was very very good, thanks to the warm summer, August rains, and September sunshine. This is a totally open, fruit-forward and extremely expressive Syrah. We've offered this wine before as part of a 2-pack of the Julien Cecillon discovery pack—if you have enjoyed the 2013, then you should definitely try the 2014.  (Or try a mini vertical, we have a few bottles left of the '13 vintage) Julien & Nancy are hands on in the vines (see below) and hands off in the cellar: the wine is made with only indigenous yeasts, and aged 13 months in 5-year old barrels. 

You should take advantage of this offer if you like medium-bodied wines with a balance of spice and fruit, but this wine, and especially this vintage, won't knock you out with tannins. It's elegant and drinkable now, you don't have to wait to pop these bottles— serve it with your fall dinners, from grilled steaks to vegetarian dishes like portobello mushrooms. 

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