Although oceans of purple prose were spilled in the press about the 2015 vintage in the Northern Rhône, most growers here remark that 2016 is perhaps even greater. While it may lack the sheer tannic heft and dazzling concentration of 2015, 2016 offers superior
elegance—a more fine-grained glimpse into the terroir—while sacrificing nothing in terms of density and longevity. For a grower like Cuilleron, who even with his newfound lighter touch still makes wines of relative muscle, 2016 allowed for wines of impressive balance offering early accessibility, but surefire ageability.
“Laya” comes from a single Syrah vineyard in the southern part of Crôzes-Hermitage on the Chassis plain. Fully destemmed, the 2016 spent eighteen months in used barrels, and it shows impressive richness and depth for the appellation. Fruits veer toward the black, with a subtly somber edge adding nuance to an otherwise fruit-led presentation, and the tannins are relatively gentle and approachable.