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Graillot & Thalvin, Tandem Syrah 2020


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  • Winemaker:

    Alain Graillot

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Alain Graillot is best known in the Northern Rhone for his excellent Crozes-Hermitage wines. Here he has turned his hand to an altogether different terroir for Syrah - Morocco. As might be expected from the warmer climate, this is bigger and riper than a classic Rhone Syrah - more Southern Rhone in character than Northern - but has a definite 'old world' feel from spicy complexity and structure.

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Fruit is grown primarily around the winery, which is located near the village of Ben Slimane (40 km from the ocean between Casablanca and Rabat in Morocco). The wine is crafted from vines 10-40 years old (average age 25 years), using traditional farming methods such as goblet pruning, hand weeding and hand ploughing, to maintain the integrity of the varietal. All vineyards are ploughed and weeded by hand, and no herbicide or fungicide treatments are used. The grapes are 100% de-stemmed and fermented in closed concrete vats. Daily pumpovers are done and maceration is completed in 10 days. The wine is aged for 15 months, first in tanks and then finished in large oak casks imported from Burgundy (from Francois Freres).

Northern Rhone native, Alain Graillot, is recognized for his passion of Syrah. Prior to starting his own domaine, Alain worked in Burgundy, where he received guidance from the reputable Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac. In 1985, Alain founded Domaine Alain Graillot just outside the village of Pont de l Isere, about 6 km south of Tain-l Hermitage. He is now considered one of the most highly sought-after producers in the Northern Rhone due to his exuberant, robust and impeccably made Syrah-based wines. Alain Graillot stumbled upon these vineyards and the Thalvin winery while bicycling in the Zenata region of Morocco between Casablanca and Rabat. It is a beautiful area with cool winds blowing off the Atlantic and no polluting industries. The Thalvin winery has been around since the 1920s and after some discussion, a deal was reached and Thalvin provided Graillot with parcels of Syrah vines to produce Syrocco.

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