Domaine du Colombierby Florent Viale
REGION: Northern Rhone
APPELLATION: AOC Crozes-Hermitage
Domaine du Colombier is widely recognised as one of the best sources of high quality Hermitage and Crozes Hermitage wine.
The Viale family planted their first vines at the foot of the Hermitage hill in 1929; now the representative of the third generation, the tall and charming Florent, owns over 13 hectares of vines liberally scattered on some of the best sites over the communes of Mercurol and Tain, including 1.5 hectares of vineyards in the renowned Beaumes vineyard on the famous Hermitage hill. Before 1992 the entire production was sold to local negociants (Guigal in particular) and so only recently have the Viales been estate bottling and marketing their own wines.
The average age vines in the holding in Beaumes is over 50 years and this is reflected in the wine which is renowned for their purity and harmony. The Syrah is fermented in a cement, stainless steel and wood, and then matured over eight months in cement and 600 ltr demi-muids.
Compared to Southern Rhone, the region of Northern Rhone (Côte Rôtie or “roasted slope”) is relatively small – with only a five percent share of all Rhone Valley wines. Northern Rhone is comparatively wetter and cooler compared to Southern Rhone. Northern Rhone’s harsh winters, warm summers, and cold air also means slightly different wine styles and grapes between it and Southern Rhone.
Nothern Rhone, albeit not the exact origin of the first historic mention of French Syrah, creates the penultimate Syrah – the benchmark by which all Syrahs are measured. This grape, which was suggested to have come from the city of Shiraz in erstwhile Persia, legends say have been planted in the region as early as 600 BC. However, extensive viticultural research has found that said grape came from the region itself.
Syrah is the only red varietal allowed to make red wines in the area by the AOC.
Pictures / Other Media: