Maison Les Alexandrins is the newly renamed collaboration between Nicolas Jaboulet, formerly of...
the eponymous winery in Tain, winemaker Guillaume Sorrel and viticulturalist Alexandre Caso. Each person brings their expertise to this micro-négociant, an extension of Domaine Les Alexandrins, established in 2015. The aim of Maison Les Alexandrins remains the same: to buy parcels of fruit from some of the top growers in each appellation in the Northern Rhône. Maison and Domaine Les Alexandrins will soon be a permanent fixture in the Northern Rhône with a new winery under construction in Tain-l’Hermitage.
The vineyard comprises young vines of an average age of 15 years and is planted on terraces. It covers the hinterland of the nothern Côtes du Rhône in an area bordered by the southern Rhône, Isère, northern Drôme and Loire river near its Ardèche source.
2016 has been hailed as a great vintage but it wasn’t without its challenges. The growing season did not get off to a great start. Spring was marked by cloudy and wet weather. Hail storms also posed a threat with some loss of yield yet luckily it was early enough in the season for vines to recover vegetative growth. As a result, flowering and budburst were delayed. The summer months were very hot and dry which halted some ripening but sorely needed rain fell at the beginning of September allowing ripening to continue. Fortunately, good weather then resumed until harvest, which resulted in good quality fruit and moderate alcohol levels.
The grapes were cold-macerated before fermentation to extract complex fruit characteristics. Maceration and fermentation lasted for a fortnight with pumping over the first few days and then punching down towards the end. Part of the wine was aged for five to six months in stainless steel tanks. This type of tank helps preserve the freshness and fruit. The rest was aged in oak for the same amount of time to help soften the tannins.
This wine is bright ruby in colour with purple undertones. On the nose, there are notes of red fruit, and full-bodied blackcurrant, blueberries along with notes of spice. The wine is lively with a mineral edge. The tannins are soft and round and with a harmonious balance between alcohol and acidity. The softness and finesse of the 8% Viognier creates a wine that is more powerful and full bodied than a simple Syrah.