Laurent Fayolle Crozes-Hermitage Les Pontaix Blanc 2020  Front Label
Laurent Fayolle Crozes-Hermitage Les Pontaix Blanc 2020  Front LabelLaurent Fayolle Crozes-Hermitage Les Pontaix Blanc 2020  Front Bottle Shot

Laurent Fayolle Crozes-Hermitage Les Pontaix Blanc 2020

  • JD92
  • RP91
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Certified organic. 100% Marsanne. From the original Crozes villages of Crozes-Hermitage. A single steep site found on the backside of the Hermitage hill. Sits above the Pontaix Rouge parcel, very steep. Grown on loess. 60+ year old vines. Indigenous yeast. Fermented and aged in barrel and demi-muids (20% new)

Critical Acclaim

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JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
A rock-solid white from this team that's based on 100% Marsanne, the 2020 Crozes-Hermitage Les Pontaix Blanc offers up a ripe, medium-bodied, wonderfully pure profile revealing impressive peach and quince fruit as well as some spice and toasty background notes. I love its purity as well as its balance, and it shows the lively, fresher style of the vintage nicely.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Cedar shavings and pineapple mark the nose of the 2020 Crozes Hermitage Le Pontaix Blanc. Crisp and structured, this medium-bodied wine—the product of old-vine Marsanne grown on loess and granite near the village of Crozes-Hermitage—is out of the ordinary for the appellation, yet it works, showing ample concentration, focus and length. My estimate of its potential longevity may even prove to be conservative.
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Laurent Fayolle

Laurent Fayolle

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Laurent Fayolle, France
Laurent Fayolle is the 6th generation to run this small family estate in the Northern Rhône village of Gervans. In 2002, when his father and uncle split up the family domaine amongst their children, Laurent took control of 7 hectares of prime heirloom parcels (many over 60 years old) in the granite hills located on the backside of the hill of Hermitage. The slopes found in this area around Gervans, Crozes-Hermitage and Larnage are part of the original Crozes-Hermitage classification from 1937 (the southern sections of Les Chassis and Mercurol were added in 1952) due to their close resemblance to the noble hill that looms over them. Once at the helm, his first action was to convert everything to organic farming. Along with his light touch in the cellar (which includes a soft extraction and use of concrete and minimal new wood), he is able to take the incredible raw materials from the complex terroirs he farms (terraced granite and loess slopes, limestone, round river galets) and create wines of supreme elegance and refinement.
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A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and rosé wines, the Rhône is bisected by the river of the same name and split into two distinct sub-regions—north and south. While a handful of grape varieties span the entire length of the Rhône valley, there are significant differences between the two zones in climate and geography as well as the style and quantity of Rhône wines produced. The Northern Rhône, with its continental climate and steep hillside vineyards, is responsible for a mere 5% or less of the greater region’s total output. The Southern Rhône has a much more Mediterranean climate, the aggressive, chilly Mistral wind and plentiful fragrant wild herbs known collectively as ‘garrigue.’

In the Northern Rhône, the only permitted red variety is Syrah, which in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie, it produces velvety black-fruit driven, savory, peppery red wines often with telltale notes of olive, game and smoke. Full-bodied, perfumed whites are made from Viognier in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, while elsewhere only Marsanne and Roussanne are used, with the former providing body and texture and the latter lending nervy acidity. The wines of the Southern Rhône are typically blends, with the reds often based on Grenache and balanced by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and an assortment of other varieties. All three northern white varieties are used here, as well as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbelenc and more. The best known sub-regions of the Southern Rhône are the reliable, wallet-friendly Côtes du Rhône and the esteemed Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Others include Gigondas, Vacqueyras and the rosé-only appellation Tavel.

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One of the star whites of the Rhône Valley and ubiquitous throughout southern France, historically vignerons have favored Marsanne for its hardy and productive vines. It can make a fruity and delicious single varietal wine as well as a serious, full-bodied version with amazing aging potential. The best examples of Marsanne come from the northern Rhone appellations where it is also blended with Roussanne. Sommelier Secret—Some of the oldest Marsanne vines in the entire world exist not in France but in Australia, in the Victoria region. Settlers planted it in the mid to late 1800s, calling it “white Hermitage.”

SRKFRFAY1220_2020 Item# 964205

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