Domaine des Hauts Châssis Crozes Hermitage ‘Les Galets’ 2016

There's Crozes and then there's Crozes - Franck Faugier has made a cracker! Stunning Syrah 🍇

Sitting next to the 2015 Crozes from Gugial, the 2016 from Domaine des Hauts Châssis ‘Les Galets’ makes for a great comparison. It has energy, slightly inky density yet elegance.

It’s bold with lovely rich fruit yet restraint. Excellent front mid-palate tannin of great depth. Liquorice and dark fruits with baking spices, and, a little pepper play on your palate. Persistent of great length and depth. So playful and intriguing. A little musk and perfume rise from the glass. Poised and balanced this is an excellent wine. Incredibly morish now, this will be one hell of a wine with another 5 years age on it and will last much longer. 

Honest wines made by farmers of stone fruit & grapes with bloody good palates!

None of the frustrating reduction that seems so common in the region at the moment, just pure pleasure!

$51ea in any 3+, $48ea in any 6+

In stock (can be backordered)

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Grape variety : 100% Syrah.

Appellation : AOP Crozes-Hermitage. The Hauts Châssis estate is in the middle of the locality called “Les Hauts Châssis” in the south of the Crozes Hermitage appellation area.

Colour : Red

Terroir : Its soils have big stones which absorb the heat all day long and give it off again at night. Big round stones of Alpine diluvium to a depth of 50 to 80 cm with coarse sand and red clay.

Vine age : 20 – 40 years. Yielding 35HL/ha = Very Low.

Winemaking process : 3 to 4-day cold pre-fermentation maceration (6°C), alcoholic fermentation at 30°-32°C with daily pumping over and crushing, 12 to 20-day hot maceration (30°C)  then hot running off in barrels, malolactic fermentation in barrels, then 12-month maturing in barrels before bottling at the following autumn.

About Domaine des Hauts Châssis

Domaine des Hauts Chassis is located in the south of the Crozes-Hermitage appellation. The estate is 17 hectares spread across Crozes, Condrieu, Hermitage, St Peray and St Joseph. Franck Faugier took over the family estate and has been vinifying since 2003.

He is the fourth generation of his family to tend to their vines in the commune of La Roche-de-Glun in Crozes-Hermitage, however all the previous generation sold their grapes to either Paul Jaboulet Aîne or the Tain Cooperative. All of Franck’s 12 hectares of vineyards are on the stony soils of Les Chassis, one of the most prized plots of land in all of Crozes-Hermitage.

“From the vine to the cellar, it is the respect of the fruit and of the vine that we support : work of the ground, supervised control, grape harvest in green, manual stripping, manual grape harvest, picking off, treading during the wine making, and a controlled maturing in order to offer you all the pleasure of the fruit and the complexity of the Syrah.”

Where in the World are They?

Crozes-Hermitage rest in the Northern Rhône above Hermitage.

🔍Click to Enlarge

Josh Raynolds on 2016 vs 2015 Vintage

2016: Elegance, Freshness and Detail – 2015: Ripeness, Weight and Power . . . Right?

Well, yes and no. While the ‘16s, as a group, are lighter-bodied and more elegant than the ‘15s, they are far from delicate flowers. For a less-ripe – but by no means thin – vintage, 2016 produced an abundance of wines that exhibit admirable depth plus energy. Two thousand fifteen, a warm-to-hot year, yielded wines that possess real backbone and, often, very healthy acidity levels that will keep them fresh for years to come. Indeed, a number of producers I’ve been visiting since 1989 – and whose opinions I trust – believe that the ‘15s will be among the longest-lived wines they have ever made. The biggest difference between the two vintages, I believe, is that the tannic structure of the ‘15s makes many of the best wines forbidding to taste, much less drink, right now, and probably for the next decade or more.

2016: Impatient Northern Rhône Wine Lovers, Rejoice

Most of the ‘16s show wonderful up-front vivacity and clean, lucid fruit. This might lead one to believe that it’s an early-maturing vintage that should be enjoyed for its come-hither character rather than buried in the cellar. I have a feeling, though, that these wines, many of which are still in barrel, will continue to put on weight and gain in structure over the coming months, and that they will age positively for quite some time – but more on balance than on underlying backbone or mass. Yields in 2016 were healthy but not excessive, so there’s no lack of concentration to the wines, especially those from the best producers.

Something for Everyone!

91 Points

Opaque ruby. Ripe cherry and dark berries on the nose, complicated by olive, incense and cracked pepper nuances. Sweet and open-knit, offering sappy cassis and bitter cherry flavors that tighten up and become spicier on the back half. Dusty tannins build steadily on the persistent, incisive finish, adding framework and firming grip.

Josh Raynolds for Vinous

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Domaine des Hauts Châssis, Les Hauts Châssis, La Roche-de-Glun, France



Rhône Valley


Northern Rhône