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- Red Hermitage Vineyards :
- the vineyard stretches over 3 communes in the Drôme "département": Tain-l'Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Larnage. Soils :
- the soils are a combination of granite with alluvial quaternary delta deposits and Pliocene marl. This diversity explains the numerous names given to the various vineyard plots within the appellation: Bessards, Greffieux, Méal, Roucoule, Beaumes, etc. Climate :
- protected from the north winds, the slopes are well exposed to the sun, facing south. Surface area under production :
- the vineyards area adds up to 134 hectares/331 acres, with an annual production of 3,635 hectolitres. Authorized maximum yield is 40 hectolitres/hectare (2.3 US tons/acre). Grape varieties :
- Syrah (an addition of up to 15% of Marsanne or Roussanne is allowed).
This cuvée is a vineyard plot selection. The grapes come exclusively from the oldest plot within the renowned area of "Les Bessards", in the heart of the Hermitage slopes. This wine is only produced during the very best years, the production is deliberately limited to 6,000 bottles (75 cl.) per year. Grape variety : 100% Syrah.
Harvesting for "Les Bessards" is entirely by hand, when the grapes show optimum ripening. Fermentation takes place in traditional, open-topped - concrete tanks, after 2 days of pre fermentary skin contact at cool temperatures. Fermenting continues at controlled temperatures of 82°F to 86°F/28°C to 30°C. Daily cap punching and pumping over are carried out for about 10 days, with a total maceration period of up to 20 days.
Maturation lasts for between 12 and 14 months in new oak barrels or barrels that have already held 1 wine. Those are regularly racked in order to provide the tannins with enough oxygen for an optimum maturing.
A brilliant wine, with deep red hue, and lots of depth. The nose shows great class, with soft aromas of blackberries, violets. Hermitage "Les Bessards" shows plenty of concentration in its fruit. This wine has a particularly dense and rich tannic structure, and is extremely good balance.
Food and wine pairing
Red meats, rare or medium cooked - game, marinated meats, and spicy stews. The bottle should be opened 1 to 3 hours before drinking. This wine needs at least 3 years cellaring before it can open up its complexity. After this time, it should be decanted before serving.