Domaine Alain Graillot Syrocco Rouge Maroc 2018
Domaine Alain Graillot Syrocco Rouge Maroc is a fruit-forward Moroccan red wine made in an old-world style with moderate extraction. Warmth and richness in the mouth, but also a cool elegance. It has the typical Graillot thumbprint but with a slightly exotic twist. Absolutely worth a look for those seeking to explore a wider world of wine. Excellent balance and complex aromatics. A deep ruby red with notes contain plenty of rip black fruits and dried cherry, followed by sandalwood, herbs and spice. It has a dry and long finish.
Alain Graillot is arguably one the finest winemakers in the Rhone Crozes-Hermitage region. On a holiday, he was peddaling his tandem bike through the cooler mountains parts of Morocco. The northern Rhone winemaking icon stopped for a chat, with oenologist Jacques Poulaine from Domaine des Ouled Thaleb. Jacques gave him a tour of some of the better sites where the cooling breeze from the Atlantic ocean tempered the climate of the Zenata region. Graillot immediately saw the potential. In spite of only 20 hectares of vineyards, the vines are between 10 – 40 years old.
This North African Syrah just gets better and better. It hails from the Atlantic-influenced hills of Morocco’s Zenata region, in the lee of the spectacular Middle Atlas Mountains. Relatively cool climate from fresh ocean breezes at an altitude of 500m. A mix of red and black clay over a base of limestone and ancient ocean bed remnants. This provide the right mix of conditions for scented, juicy Syrah that Graillot believes can showcase the surprising potential of Morocco. He’s seldom wrong about such things.
The vines are farmed organically with no usage of herbicide or fungicide treatment to the vineyard and all works are done by hand, which reduces damage to the grapes. Using his expertise, he created a wine that is organic and sun-kissed but made with time-tested old world techniques. The result is elegant, intensely concentrated Syrah and balanced. It’s easy to drink and to pair. A great gateway wine for someone looking to broaden their range. It’s a new take on a familiar varietal from an incredible winemaker. This excellent value curio is the end result.
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