From the steep granitic terraces of Fully, this is what Marie Therese describes as perhaps the best red in her cellar. I didn’t get to taste any, and wasn’t able to secure any of this on the last go around. I am glad to be able to offer some this year, as it was easily my favorite red of the range in the past…..
“Les Claives is one of the most difficult hills to cultivate in Valais,” reports the website of this iconic domaine in Fully. Roadless, it ranges from 450 to 650 meters in altitude. “Due to its steep slope, loamy deposits formed by the wind accumulate in the flatter parts, while elsewhere, the soil is rocky and dry. The Claives appellation, with its successive terraces, is emblematic of this local hillside.” The primary grapes grown here are Ermitage (Marsanne) and Petite Arvine. At the top of the hill, Fendant (Chasselas), Païen (Savagnin) and Sylvaner are cultivated. The lower part of Les Claives includes young Syrah vines along with Marsanne and Petite Arvine. The 2020 Grain Syrah is a typical Rhône red that shows a dark ruby-purple color along with an intense and elegant bouquet of dark berries, smoke and crushed flint stones but also refreshing lemon and Timut pepper notes. Silky, crystalline and elegant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, round, sustainable and salty Syrah with ripe and fine but structuring tannins and intense and mouth-filling fruit. This is an impressive red wine with a clear, fresh and cleansing finish. 13.7% stated alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted in Zurich in February 2022.” 92 Stephan Reinhardt
The tasting note from the Chappaz website: “Very dark, purplish color. A beautiful graphite nose, vanilla bean, with scents of Provence (lavender). Touch of fine leather on opening. Mouth silky and vinous on entry with powerful body, dense, structured, juicy and tannic. Long finish for this vin de garde.”