Crozes-Hermitage is an appellation in the Northern Rhone featuring 92% red (Syrah) and 8% white (Marsanne & Rousanne). For some time this has been a source of very good value wines. It is exhilarating to see the quality challenge to the powerhouse in the area the Cave de Tain (responsible for some 50% of output). With several recent outstanding vintages, and a number of up and coming young winemakers on the scene providing new energy, Crozes-Hermitage is an exciting appellation to follow!
It is a pleasure to uncover talent early. The diminutive Natcha Chave is undoubtedly a future star of the Appellation. Natacha’s parents realized their dream of becoming winemakers and their small estate was passed on to Natacha’s brother. Instead of joining him Natacha felt she needed the independence to make wines in her style from start to finish. She began with a small plot in St Joseph in 2004. She then purchased her first 5.5 hectares of old vine Crozes-Hermitage in 2007 and has been making fabulous wines ever since. She has recently featured in top wine magazine Decanter as one of the 6 winemakers to watch in the Northern Rhone, and we feel very privileged to bring her wines into the US. The name ‘Aléofane’ comes from a book by John MacMillan Brown regarding a fictional island. The word ‘Aleofane’ here translates as ‘a gem of truth’.
Domaine Aleofane Crozes-Hermitage 2012. Black fruit nose, with meaty essence. Licorice, prune and black fruit on the palette with hints of black pepper and spice, with well-rounded and sophisticated tannins. Not heavy or alcoholic, it has balance and vibrancy and underlying freshness which bode well for a 5-8 year ageing potential.