Delas, a négociant based in the Northern Rhône Valley, has recently completed the purchase of 44 acres in the Crozes-Hermitage appellation. The vineyards lie within the Les Chassis area of Crozes-Hermitage, combining 15 acres of vines purchased from Domaine Collonge with another 29-acre plot purchased from the Faugier grapegrowing family. On average the vines are 15 years old. The purchase price was not disclosed.
"For the moment, Domaine des Grands Chemins is the name we've chosen for the newly constituted domaine," says Delas managing director Fabrice Rosset. "Whether this will also be an estate-grown wine remains to be seen. Although it's a strong possibility, no decision is possible yet. We need some experience with the fruit."
Delas produces 120,000 cases of wine a year from its 24 acres in Hermitage, 5 acres in St.-Joseph and purchased grapes. Delas' wines have improved dramatically since the hiring of winemaker Jacques Granges, whose first vintage at Delas was 1997. The 2003 Côte-Rôtie La Landonne scored 96 points and the 2003 Hermitage Les Bessards scored 97 points on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale.
See also: Northern Rhône Vintage Analysis