Croze Hermitage Blanc
95% Marsanne and 5% Roussanne grown in the vineyards on the south-southwest facing slopes in Gervans and Larnage, north of Tain l’Hermitage. The soil is composed of loam (kaolin) and loess. While the average age of the white wine vines is 20 years, one third are sélection massales Marsanne vines planted in the 1940s by the Fayolles’ grandparents. The Roussanne vines are younger; they were planted by the Fayolles themselves, and are from clones. Pascal Fayolle gently presses whole clusters in a pneumatic press for 3 hours, cools the juice and removes solids, and then allows the alcoholic fermentation to start in stainless steel tanks. When it finishes and the temperature of the must has started to decline, he transfers the young wine to 600 liter demi-muids, which are 4-5 years of age. The Crozes Blanc is aged on its lees in these same casks for 12 months in the domaine’s deep underground cellar. Fayolle blocks the malolactic fermentation to ensure the wine’s freshness and bright fruit. The casks are then assembled and the wine spends two additional months in tank before bottling.
About the Producer
Nadia and Pascal Fayolle are the third generation to manage their 21.5 hectare family property. Their prized Hermitage vineyards are on ideal south-facing slopes with 30 to 40 year old vines. The Fayolles began estate-bottling their Hermitage and Crozes Hermitage wines with the 2003 vintage. Prior to that year, they were major suppliers to many renown Northern Rhône negociants.
Farming practices: Sustainable. Soils are plowed, no herbicides and no pesticides are used. The use of fungicides depends on the level of mildew and oidium, and only when absolutely necessary. When needed, organic fertilizer is used to restore soil’s balance. To enhance ripening, air circulation and the health of the fruit, the Fayolles green harvest and remove leaves. They harvest entirely by hand, sorting the grapes in the vineyard and again at the winery to remove any damaged or unripe fruit.
Hermitage is an AOC covering 130 hectares and is located on the only hill overlooking the town of Tain l’Hermitage, on the left bank of the Rhône river, in the Drôme region. Crozes-Hermitage is an AOC that covers 1,200 hectares stretching across the 11 villages that form the “canton” of Tain l’Hermitage.
Domaine des Martinelles