Equis Equinoxe Crozes Hermitage 2019, Rhone, France

100% Syrah. From the hillsides of Crozes-Hermitage in the Northern Rhone, this dark-fruited, peppery red is made from all hand-harvested fruit from younger vines. The wine was fermented and aged in concrete tank and large wooden vats to allow the purity of the fruit and distinctive minerality of the terroir shine through. Mineral-accented dark fruit and floral aromas are energized by a jolt of spicy black pepper. Fleshy, juicy and nicely concentrated, offering finely etched boysenberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors that tighten up on the back half. Densely packed yet energetic as well, finishing with sharp clarity, smooth tannins and strong persistence. Made from fruit grown on the granitic soils of Saint-Jean-du-Muzols. Maxime Graillot – son of the famed winemaker, Alain Graillot – has not only taken over the daily operations of his father’s estate, but also founded a boutique label called Domaine Equis with his business partner, Thomas Schmittel, to express how the farmer is as much a part of the terroir as the soil and vines. They accomplish this goal by working closely with quality growers to remain in sync with every aspect of the winemaking process – vinifying, aging, bottling and marketing – similar to a négociant.