this terraced vineyard needed a lot of restoration when the gras family bought it in 1994. It sits on the slopes at 350 metres of altitude, planted on long, narrow terraces, littered with limestone rocks. Facing north-west, it is surrounded by forest, with fantastic biodiversity, and is planted with 40-year-old 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre & 10% Syrah. The soil is grey marl over limestone, which gives the wines a definite mineral edge, while the clay retains water and helps with drought. In the winery the grapes are partially destemmed and the grapes are gravity fed to keep the berries intact. Fermentations are spontaneous, and take between 20-30 days. Pumping over is carried out twice a day, while punching down is employed sparingly. After the males the wines are left to settle over the winter. In the spring they move to a mix of foudres and amphorae, where they remain for 18-months. bottled with no fining or filtration.
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.