Domaine des Remizieres
Crozes Hermitage / Hermitage - Rhône Valley
HVE Level 3 certified since 2016
Wine Advocate: "The wines have beautiful purity, plenty of texture and show ample northern Rhône typicity. This estate needs to be on every reader’s short list".
Jeb Dunnuck: "One of my favorite estates".
Domaine des Remizières “Cuvée Particulières” 2014 - Crozes Hermitage
The wine is produced from Syrah vines averaging 50 years of age from various parcels representing 5 ha on claye-limestone slopes. The average yield is about 40 hl/ha. After 4-5 days of pre-fermentation skin macerations at 10°C, the fermentations are carried out in small stainless steel vats for 20 to 30 days at 28-30°C. The ageing is done in demi-muid barrels of 600 litres for 15 months of which 20% are new.
PVins notes: This dark cherry coloured, wine offers a complexity of fruit and spice aromas. Medium-bodied, the palate shows fine grain tannins and the oak is very well integrated, a little cellaring over 1-2 years on release is recommended. The wine can be cellared for up to a decade.
Wine Advocate 89
The inky-colored 2014 Crozes Hermitage Cuvee Particuliere is 100% destemmed Syrah that comes from clay and limestone soils, and spent 12 months in a combination of new and used demi-muids. It’s a classic Syrah from this estate and offers notes of plums, black raspberries, licorice, spice and subtle oak. These give way to a medium-bodied, fresh, balanced Syrah that has ripe tannin and terrific purity of fruit. Drink 2015-2021
Wine Spectator 89
Ripe cassis and raspberry puree notes form the core here, while ample structure lends focus. Violet and graphite details line the finish, with the fruit echoing pleasantly. Solid.
Domaine des Remizières “Cuvée Christophe” 2015 / 2013 - Crozes Hermitage
This is the premium wine in the Crozes Hermitage range, a result of a selection of 65-70 years old Syrah vines and the best parcels located on slopes. The average yield is about 34 hl/ha. After the pre-fermentation skin maceration for 4-5 days at 10°C, each parcel is fermented separately in small stainless steel vats for 4 weeks. The parcels will be aged separately in french oak barrels for 15 months with 70% of new oak.
PVins notes: This dark coloured wine offers great complexity of fruit and spice aromas. Full-bodied, concentrated and tannic on the palate with fine grain tannins, the aromatics are strong enough to digest the oak, a little cellaring over 2-3 years on release is recommended or decanting is an alternative if you cannot wait. The wine may be cellared over 10-15 years.
Jeb Dunnuck 95
From one of my favorite estates in Crozes-Hermitage, the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Christophe comes from loamy (kaolins) soils and was brought up in 70% new French oak. Hermitage-like with its cassis and blackberry fruits, scorched earth and graphite aromatics, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, terrific purity, ripe tannin and outstanding length. It's a smoking good Crozes that will drink nicely for a decade or more.
Guide Hachette des Vins 2018 - Outstanding ⭐⭐⭐💗
An unavoidable estate, with wines of a rare consistency. A wine aged in 80% new oak barrels for 15 months, offering a complex and intense nose of blackberry and berry jams, brioche and vanilla, richness on the palate, smooth, tannins are both firm and very elegant. A complete Crozes, great maturity and built to last.
Wine Advocat 90+
The 2013 Crozes Hermitage Cuvée Christophe should be in the same ballpark as the 2014. Possessing a touch of modern sheen in its graphite, black raspberry and crushed violet bouquet, this beauty hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a tight, focused, yet gorgeously pure texture and good, maybe not great levels of concentration. It’s still a touch backwards and reticent, and my money is on it benefiting from a year or three in the cellar, and drinking nicely through 2023.
Guide Hachette des Vins 2016 - Exceptional ⭐⭐💗
Domaine des Remizières 2013 - Saint Joseph
The wine is made from 40 years old Syrah vines planted on decomposed granite slopes facing south. The average yield is 30 hl/ha. After the pre-fermentation skin maceration over 4-5 days at 10°C the must is fermented in oak barrels for 25 to 30 days. The wine will then be aged in french oak barrels for 12-16 months with 30% of new oak and 70% of barrels that are 1 year old.
PVins notes: The wine shows expressive fruity aromas of redberries, it's medium-bodied on the palate with well integrated oak, good concentration with elegant tannins, well focused. The wine may be cellared for up to 7 years.
Wine Advocate 88-90
Similarly style to the 2012, yet with more acidity and freshness, the 2013 St Joseph offers plenty of smoke, pepper and jammy black and blue fruits, medium-bodied richness and moderate tannin. The acidity will be something to watch here, but it has outstanding potential.
Modern style, with creamy oak in the ascendant. The palate rolls with fleshy content and a generous black fruit, rendered smoky from its sweet oaking. Drink 2016 - 2021.
Domaine des Remizières “Cuvée Emilie” 2015 / 2010 / 2009 - Hermitage
The wine is made with 40 year old Syrah vines from two Hermitage parcels: “Les Grandes Vignes” 1.50 ha and “Rocoule” 0.50 ha. The average yield is 30 hl/ha. Following the pre-fermentation skin maceration over 4-5 days at 10°C, each parcel is fermented separately in small stainless steel vats for 4 weeks and then aged separately in 100% new french oak barrels for 15-18 months depending on the vintage.
PVins notes: This black inky coloured wine offers layered aromatic complexity of fruit and spice aromas with hints of oak and toast in its youth. Full-bodied, opulent with ripe tannins, concentrated on the palate, here again the aromatics are strong enough to digest the oak over time. Cellaring over 4-5 years on release is recommended or decanting is an alternative if you do not have the patience to wait. A great Hermitage showing the potential of the appellation’s terroir, the characteristics of the Syrah and great winemaking techniques by Emilie. The wine may be cellared over 20-30 years.
Jeb Dunnuck 97
The 2015 Hermitage Cuvée Emilie comes from the Les Grandes Vignes region of Hermitage (a small part is from Les Rocoules) and was brought up in 100% new French oak. Its inky purple color is followed by sensational notes of charcoal, burning embers, blackberry liqueur and graphite. A huge, rich, and enormously concentrated wine, it has sensational mid-palate depth and stays fresh and lively on the palate, with a firm, concentrated, age-worthy style. It's certainly not for instant gratification and is going to need time. Forget bottles for a good 7-8 years. Drink 2025 - 2040
Wine Spectator 93
Intense, with inviting blackberry puree, plum reduction and cassis notes coursing through, with a buried graphite edge providing spine. Licorice snap, roasted juniper and warm fruitcake details fill in on the finish, while the fruit drives through. Best from 2020 through 2028.
Wine Advocate 94
Roasted beef, savory herbs and espresso notes mark the nose of the 2015 Hermitage Cuvee Emilie. This full-bodied, massively endowed wine is rich and velvety, pushing the limits of ripeness toward fruitcake and dried fruit but staying just this side of my tolerance for that sort of thing. It’s already remarkably approachable. Drink 2018 - 2030
Wine Advocate 96
A profound blockbuster is the 2010 Hermitage Cuvee Emilie. An opaque purple color, unctuous texture, and sweet perfume of creme de cassis, blackberry liqueur, acacia flowers and graphite are all found in this enormously endowed, full-bodied, viscous, thick wine. It is nearly over-the-top in richness, but everything comes together with no bitterness, astringency or heaviness. The oak is well-concealed because of the wine’s extravagant fruit and glycerin. This is a 25-year Hermitage. Drink 2012 - 2037
Inky purple. Dark berry liqueur, cola and floral pastille aromas, with strong accents of incense and smoky minerals. Fat, sweet and palate-staining, offering intense blackberry preserve and cherry-cola flavors lifted by juicy acidity and sharpened by a peppery, spicy nuance. Quite powerful yet comes off graceful and precise. Finishes extremely long and alluringly sweet, with supple tannins and persistent smokiness. This got 85% new oak and the material is more than up to it.
Guide Hachette des Vins 2013 - Excellent ⭐⭐
Bettane & Desseauve 17
Guide Hachette des Vins 2012 - Outstanding ⭐⭐⭐🧡
The 2009 joins the winners of 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. The robe is of intense deep black like ink, still on the reserve, the nose is dominated by notes of barrel ageing. But the spices and red fruit aromas are showing behind the toastiness. It’s on the palate that the wine really imposes: "a monster of concentration" of power and exceptional density, built on ripe tannins. A great Hermitage to cellar and open in ten or twenty years. Outstanding!
Wine Advocat 96
The utterly sensational 2009 Hermitage Cuvee Emilie is a huge, unctuous, decadent effort that’s about as hedonistic as they come, all the while never putting a foot wrong and staying balanced and graceful. Blackberries, licorice, toasted spice and chocolate characteristics all emerge from the glass, and it has a stacked mid-palate, building tannin and blockbuster length. It has another 20+ years of longevity. Bravo! Drink 2015-2040
Domaine des Remizières is located on the commune of Mercurol. The original size of the Domaine was 4 ha and the family Desmeures used to sell 50% of its harvest to the local co-operative at Tain l’Hermitage. In 1973 Alphonse Desmeures decided to make and bottle his own wines before his son Philippe joined him in 1977. Since 2005 the daughter Emilie, a graduate in oenology, looks after the winemaking while her bother Christophe joined in 2009. Christophe is mainly involved in the management of the vineyard with his father. Eventhough they each have their specific task they exchange their ideas in the aim of producing high quality wines. Emilie and Christophe represent the 4th generation on the Domaine.
The Domaine covers 32 ha of vineyards mainly planted with Syrah, some Marsanne and a little Roussanne, some red vines are reaching 85 years of age. The Domaine's holdings are in Hermitage (red/white), Crozes Hermitage (red/white) and Saint Joseph (red only). The parcels are located in the communes of Mercurol, Crozes Hermitage, Larnage, La Roche de Glun, Tain l’Hermitage, Tournon and since 1997 Saint Jean de Muzols for the Saint Joseph. The Desmeures family have been farming the vineyards organically for many years, but they have chosen not to have the estate officially certified organic due to the “IGP wines” in other words "regional" wines that they also produce. Every second row is planted in grass to encourage biodiversity and all the work in the vineyard is carried out by hand. Emilie's and Christophe's approach is to work each parcel individually depending on the terroir and the vines. This selectiveness enables them to produce a range of wines that are well made from the early drinking style to the long cellaring wines.
The Crozes Hermitage terroirs vary depending on the location of the parcel, from clayey-limestone around Mercurol to gravelly with kaolinic white sands on the commune of Larnage where some of the best parcels are located.
The red Hermitage represents 2 ha in 2 lieux-dits: “Rocoule” (0.50 ha) and “Les Grandes Vignes” (1.50 ha) where the soil structure is decomposed granite giving elegant masculine wines. The white Hermitage, planted with Marsanne, comes from 2 parcels within the lieu-dit “Maison Blanche” situated at the top of the Hermitage Hill. Here the soil is rich in limestone with sandy-clay deposits giving a full-bodied wine with a rich texture and yet well-balanced by the freshness.
As for the Saint Joseph, located across the Rhône river opposite the Hermitage hill, the 2 parcels represent a total of 3.90 ha where the vines are planted on slopes facing south on decomposed granite very similar to Hermitage.
A new cellar was built between 2012-2013 with the aim of improving the winemaking process by using gravity instead of pumping the must and to increase the size of the cellar. This enabled the introduction of new stainless steel vats of different sizes for the various parcels. Before the fermentations, the grapes are de-stemmed and a pre-fermentation skin maceration at a cold temperature for 4-5 days is performed, this is to extract a little more colour, body, flavours and tannin structure for the reds. The fermentations for the reds are done in stainless steel vats while the whites are barrel fermented at cellar temperature. Depending on the strength of the wine and the quality of the vintage, different sized barrels of 600 litres and 228 litres and the amount of new oak used in the ageing process will differ for each wine. The wines are bottled without filtration.
Domaine des Remizières produces reds from 3 appellations: Crozes Hermitage, Saint Joseph and Hermitage. The entry level Crozes Hermitage is made with young vines situated south of Mercurol in the area of “Chassis”, a pleasant early drinking Syrah. The next level up is the “Cuvée Particulières” made from old vines following a selection of excellent parcels. The premium wine in this range is the “Cuvée Christophe”, a result of further selection of the best barrels and specific parcels located on the slopes at Larnage and Mercurol, named after Philippe's son this wine is made for the cellar. A red Saint Joseph is also produced from a terroir of decomposed granite similar to Hermitage. The jewel of the Domaine is the Hermitage "Cuvée Emilie" named after Philippe's daughter and winemaker.
the Domaine also produces 3 white wines from the appellations Crozes Hermitage and Hermitage. The “Cuvée Particulières” is made from Marsanne only and the Premium “Cuvée Christophe” is a blend of Marsanne with a little Roussanne made with 60 year old vines from the best parcels located on clayey-limestone slopes. Here again the jewel of the estate in white is the Hermitage "Cuvée Emilie" named after Philippe's daughter. Produced from old vines it delivers full-bodied richness, concentration and vibrant acidity with complex aromas.
In 2008, the estate was awarded the prestigious prize "Prix d’Excellence" at the “Concours de l’Agriculture” in Paris. The prize is awarded each year to only one estate representing a whole region. The Domaine was award the prize for the Rhône Valley, for having won 3 years in a row 2006, 2007, 2008 a Gold Medal at the wine show.
Crozes Hermitage / Hermitage
The appellations Crozes Hermitage and Hermitage created in 1937 are located in the northern Rhône on the left bank of the Rhône river around the town of Tain-L’Hermitage, they are situated on the 45th parallel the same as Bordeaux. At the time of the appellations’ creation the vineyards were restricted to the village Croze-Hermitage because of its plots that were awarded Hermitage AOC status. It was not until 1952 that the 10 surrounding communes were included in the appellation. Before the extension of the vineyards, the area was covered in orchards in the center and the plains to the south and bushland to the north. Crozes Hermitage is the largest appellation of the northern Rhône with 1,650 hectares over eleven communes and 137 hectares for Hermitage spreading over the 3 communes of Tain-l’Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Larnage.
The vineyards date back to ancient times when the Romans knew the wines as “Vienne wine”, in reference to the town Vienne located further north of the Rhône Valley. The unique dessert wine “Vin de Paille” (straw wine) that has regained favour since the 1980s with some winemakers, is also a direct descendent of Gallo-Roman winemaking techniques in the region. It would seem that the name “Hermitage” appeared later in the 17th century in memory of the knight Henri Gaspard de Sterimberg who, upon his return from the Albigenisan Crusades in the 13th century, decided to live as a hermit on the hill. He planted a vineyard and built a chapel on the hill dedicated to Saint Christophe (the patron of travelers). The wines of Hermitage were later known as “St Christopher’s hill wines” before being known firstly as “Ermitage” and then “Hermitage”, but both spellings are correct. As for the chapel it was rebuilt in 1864 on top of the hill dominating the valley. Only three grape varieties are allowed to be planted for both appellations, the Syrah for the reds and Marsanne, Roussanne for the whites. A blending of the white grapes is authorized to a maximum of 15% with the Syrah but this is not very common. White wines in Crozes Hermitage only represent 8% of the production with the Marsanne being the dominant varietal.
The vineyards of Crozes Hermitage face south – south-west located in the plains to the south and on terraces and slopes to the north. The terroir to the south and east of Tain-l’Hermitage is composed of thick layers of pebbles deposited by the Rhône River, a result of glacio-fluvial alluvial deposits from different glacial periods, mixed with red clay to form relatively flat landscapes known as plateaus or terraces such as the “Terrasse des Chassis”. To the north-east the terroir, on the relatively steep hillsides towards Larnage and Crozes-Hermitage, is made of pebbly terraces covered with loess or kaolinic white sands. Further north of the appellation at Erôme, Serves-Sur-Rhône and Gervans the soil is granite covered in loess.
The vineyards of Hermitage face south on steep slopes made of terraces with manmade walls in some parts to retain the soil. The historic terroir of Hermitage is composed of granite sands covered with micaschist and gneiss, as well as round alluvial pebbles. The Hermitage hill with its 20 lieux-dits can be divided into various sections. The first section to the west, when facing the hill from Tain, is “Les Bessards”, “Les Grandes Vignes” and “Varogne”. Here the terroir is very uneven on decomposed granite, the slopes are very steep and hard to work, red wines are robust. The central part of the hill can be split in two, the upper section known as “Le Méal” and “L’Hermite” is composed of limestone and silica with a pebbly surface. It produces some of the appellation’s best wines both red and white. Below at the base, the “Greffieux” and “Les Plantiers” produce delicate wines from gulley erosion soil. Then moving center-right the “Maison Blanche”, “Beaume” and “Rocoule” are rich in limestone on granite producing very good reds. Finally to the east, the “Murets”, “La Croix”, “L’Homme” and “Les Diognières” are covered in clay and stones from glacial and alluvial deposits, this is a well known terroir for whites.
Since the Crozes-Hermitage appellation spreads over a large area, it is influenced by two types of climates. To the north, it is temperate with an almost constant wind that blows and dries the air along the Rhône corridor, this northern wind brings much needed freshness in summer, but it is very cold in winter. When the wind comes from the south, the Mediterranean climate influence can be felt with hot dry summers and the occasional thunderstorm. In winter the region’s climate is generally moderately cold like a semi-continental climate. As for the Hermitage Hill, it experiences a micro-climate as the vineyards are sheltered from the northern winds with the slopes facing south receiving lots of sunshine.