A more limited production, the 2017 Crozes-Hermitage Gaby comes from older vines and is brought up in 1- through 5-year-old barrels. It offers more pure cassis fruit as well as terrific notes of charred meats, white flowers, smoked earth, and graphite. Pure, polished, full-bodied, and concentrated, it has a kiss of background oak, loads of character, and is going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. As I predicted last year, it's up with the top wines in the vintage.
Score: 94 points -- Jeb Dunnock, jebdunnock.com, 2019
Brothers Florent and David of the Domaine du Colombier produce some of the most respected wines from the Crozes Hermitage appellation, as well as from Hermitage itself, where they own 1.5 hectares of vineyard in the Beaumes lieu-dit. Grape growers before they were winemakers, the family used to sell grapes to large players in the region like Guigal, but have been bottling their own product since 1992. True to their fruit farming heritage, the Viales continue to farm apricots as well as grapes.