Crôzes-Hermitage is the largest AC in the Northern Rhône, producing 10 times the volume of Hermitage and over half of the Northern Rhône’s total production. The appellation was created 1937 with the single commune of Crozes which is situated northeast of the hill of Hermitage. Wines are now produced from 11 different communes.
It vineyards surround the hill of Hermitage on hilly terrain where richer soils produce wines that are softer and fruitier with a more forward style.. The Syrah variety is used, but legally Marsanne and Roussanne can be added to the blend (up to 15%). In the north the commune of Gervans is similar to Les Bessards in Hermitage with granite soil producing tannic reds that need time to evolve.
Soils in the south: Larnage - heavy clay which gives breadth and depth but can sometimes be flabby. The soils east of river on higher ground - Larnage & Merurol (chalk) stony, sandy and clay limestone are ideal for the production of white wines
The best reds are produced on the plateaux of Les Chassis & Les Sept Chenin, which straddles the busy N7 to the south of Tain. Here the land is covered with cailloux roules, which resemble the small pudding stones fond in Chateauneuf.
The wines can vary hugely in quality and style and the majority of the reds tend to be fairly light. Many of the wines are made by a variation of the macération carbonique technique, bottled no later than one year after the vinification. The best producers use traditional fermentation techniques.
There are small amounts of white wine made from the Marsanne and Roussanne - approximately 10% of the appellation. The finest whites are produced from around Mercurol.
Recommended Producers: Paul Jaboulet, Chapoutier, Colombier, Ferraton.
Best Vintages: 2006,2005,2004, 1999, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1988,