The Delas family have been involved in the production of wine in the Rhône Valley since 1835 and while they have a long established reputation for their excellent value reds and whites, it’s in the last decades that the estate has made a major step up in quality under the guidance of Jacques Granges, the head winemaker since 1997.
The large estate is owned by Louis Roederer and runs 30 hectares of vineyards in Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph, the most notable being Domaine des Tourettes, located on the steep slopes of the Hermitage hill. A part of this domaine, Les Bessards, gave birth to the prestigious Les Bessards cuvée which has received an average score of 96.5 from Jeb Dunnuck in the past 4 years (2015-2018 vintages).
In addition to the grapes produced by Delas’ own wine growing team, the estate’s close relationships with like-minded growers ensure that the company is able to source grapes from individual parcels. These are used to produce a range of single-vineyard wines which truly reflect their own unique terroir. One of these wines is the acclaimed Clos Boucher Condrieu – a blockbuster white which has been described as ‘voluptuous’, ‘textured’ and praised for its ‘full-bodied richness’, ‘seamless texture’ and ‘sensational balance’ (Jeb Dunnuck).
Grapes from each slot are always vinified separately in small 85 hl concrete vats which enables a more effective temperature control. All the work is carried out using a gravity system. As the fruit is emptied into the vats by gravity, the grape berries are not subjected to pumping or any rough handling. The vats are fitted with hatches that enable the punching down of the cap to be carried out by hand in order to air the wine from the top. After the final blend is made, the wine undergoes a gentle ageing process in a combination of old and new Burgundy barrels, with the freshness of the fruit being carefully preserved. “Unquestionably, the top wines here are world-class in every way” (Jeb Dunnuck).