60% Old Grenache vines, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 10% Cinsault, Cournoise and Carignan.
The quality factor here is the old, 50 year plus, vines and the complex mix of soils upon which they grow. SO2 is kept to a bare minimum during vinification and elevage to emphasise the purity of the fruit.
When Robert’s old friend Yves Gras phoned to say a stocktake had turned up more of this 2016, and would we like some, we snapped up the lot. My wife and I drank this wine often, and when we sold out I kicked myself for not buying more. Though only a Côtes-du-Rhône, the old vines, a magnificent vintage, and the Gras family’s skilful touch have combined beautifully here. The nose is full of rich plum and mulberry fruit, leather, spice and garrigue perfume. The palate is exceptionally well balanced, beautifully integrated, and mature, but with the fruit and structure to keep for several more years. Best opened an hour or two before drinking.
I won’t make the same mistake twice – I’ve already bought my case!
About the Domaine
The Gras family have been making wine in Gigondas since at least the 1870s, today the winery is still on the same site. The modern era here really begins in 1985 when Yves took over his family domaine. His first move was to begin the conversion to organic viticulture, one of the earliest domaines in the village to do so. Yves understood that this was the best way to emphasise his beloved terroir and let it speak clearly. He gained plaudits internationally for his wines which, in the words of Robert Parker, “combined the muscle, richness and fire of a classic Gigondas with a degree of elegance and purity that many wines of this appellation lack.” Yves son Benjamin joined the domaine and is now very much driving things forward, he has been responsible for the conversion to biodynamics and the further emphasis on single vineyard wines. like his father he believes in minimal intervention, low yields, old vines and working with precision and vigour.
The wines have never been better, from the everyday wine Les Plans to the single site Chateauneuf and Gigondas, every bottle delivers quality and excitement, pure fruit and depth.