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The Wines

70-80% Grenache (1925), 20-30% Mourvèdre (mid-1960s) from blue clay marl soils combined with sandy, yellow loose soils, destemmed, pre-fermentation cooling, 3-4 week concrete vat vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, concrete vat raised 18-24 months, unfined, filtered, biodynamic, vegan, gluten free wine, 15-35-75,000 b

2017 ()

(concrete vat) dark red colour; the bouquet has a mild blackberry aroma, outcrops of baked garrigue, spicing. The palate is lithe, holds reserved raspberry content, comes with vegetal siding, chalky tannins. There is a small pocket of gras as it finishes. It needs to join up the dots: from spring 2021 for that. 15.5°. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. 2038-40 Oct 2018

2016 ()

(vat) mostly dark red robe, purple top. Soaked red cherries, griottes, and raspberry liqueur show on the nose with a sense of animal, meatiness. It’s a quietly wild start – goody two shoes on the surface, wild child underneath. The palate is thickly juiced, well packed, with tannins that are firm, ripe, concentrated. This has a good, elemental content, is a striking wine with prolonged length, really reaching out thanks to its Mourvèdre. Its heart is filled with quality Grenache. 14.5°. 5,000 b. From 2021, decanting advised. 2037-39 Oct 2017 GB £195 12 b i/b https://www.sundaytimeswineclub.co.uk/jsp/content.jsp?pg=rhone16

2015

steady red robe, a hint of see-through at the rim. Has a sturdy, static aroma, mulled plums, sweet spices, a hint of menthol: it’s a typical Gigondas opening. The palate links well, offers pleasing content which is squeezy and continuous, with fine tannins late on. It’s well constructed, carries good potential. There are good flashes of Grenache fruit, spark. From 2021. 2038-40 Feb 2019 Previously Feb 2017 **** (vat) rather deep red robe. The bouquet combines an edge of raspberry fruit, clearly struck, with a husky, baked backdrop, and a ping of licorice. It’s immature, but will open out beyond its current strength. The palate is well endowed with a gradual roll of rich content, rooted in some dark tannins and sturdy content. There is a good, salted quality to the aftertaste. Genuine and appealing Gigondas, pretty direct STGT features, aided by the concrete only raising. I like its energy. 14.5°. 30,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. €22.29 at the cellars. From spring 2019. 2034-36 Feb 2017

2014 ()

(vat) dark red. Beyond the black berry jam fruit on the nose there is a baked quality that slightly flattens it. The palate sets off with a black olive tapenade, compressed black fruit flavour, light tannins in play. This is compact, and can be decanted for more openness. It tones down on the finish, but has style. 14°. 30,000 b. 80% Gren, 20% Mourv. €21.09. From mid-2017. 2025-27  Dec 2015

2013 ()

sound red robe; the nice is good and wide, with secure depth of red fruit – it is cleanly struck, also juvenile. The palate is compact, bears red fruits of good cut and expression, and a low-key pepperiness. This is elegant, unassuming wine. Pockets of fresh grain tannin mingle with soft gras richness on the finish. Not at all flash, but has good, subtle virtues, is a beau vin. 13.5°. “This 2013 was ready very early, so we bottled it in June 2014,” Christine Saurel. 70% Gren, 30% Mourv this year, instead of 80% Gren, 20% Mourv, and only 15,000 b. 2025-26  Feb 2015

2012

(vat, bottling March 2014) dark red robe, legs down the glass. The nose gives swirling, blackberry and loganberry fruit airs with a jelly-style ripeness; it is in a very early, primary state. The palate holds enjoyable fruit on the attack, then after the mid-point it hunkers down and takes on more dried fruits such as raisin, and thick tannins. Drink with full dishes, sauced meats. The finish is pretty wide. This has exuberant potential, lasts well, has genuine depth, shows a bit of heat. From 2016. 14.5°. 40,000 b, €21 at the cellars this year. 2025-27  Dec 2013

2011

(vat, bottling March 2013) shiny, decent red robe. Has an authentic, local aroma of red plum, thyme, laurel, a good southern surround. It is Grenache-centric, has a note of farmyard. The palate gives good, alert red fruit, right away. It isn’t big scale, but has definite merit thanks to its clear, fluid fruit, backed by three-quarter weight content. Has a crisply cut finish, a snap of ash smoke there. Pretty good length, and its content lasts. From mid-late 2014. 14.5°. 40,000 b, €20 at the cellars this year. 2024-25  Dec 2012

2010

(vat) shiny, rather full robe. Has a baked, somewhat muscular air, a meaty nature in this bouquet, with deep-set blackberry, licorice and a note of yeast. The palate holds live black berry fruit that runs well through it, keeps a constant delivery of juice. It shows the oily gras of the year with it, the finish is round, lip-smacking. Decent promise – it has lots of flavour, is very honest, STGT Gigondas. From spring 2013. 2027-29 Dec 2011

2009 ()

mainly Grenache red robe, slight evolution at the top. The nose also shows some evolution, has a plum-led Grenache fruit that is mild, lightly sweet. The palate picks up from the nose, contains some dark spices in its fleshy matter; the tannins lie a little on the outside on the finish, are not yet integrated. Traditional school wine that is a bit disorderly, its tannins a bit on the wild side. From 2013, be patient. 2020-22 July 2011

2008 ()

(vat) plum, matt hue to the robe. Angular, rather pointed nose – pepper in with the red fruit. The palate is a mixed-up bag of fine red fruit and currently challenging white pepper, rather dusty tannins and textures. Ends drily on the baked raisin, spice note. From 2011 to see what happens next. 2016-17 Dec 2009

2007 ()

modest red. Light pepper first nose, reductive, gummy, earthy and some raspberry fruit. Temporary red fruit on the palate – light and uninteresting. This is a Côtes du Rhône level wine, very modest. There is a sweet, toffee sign-off. Now to 2013-14 Dec 2009

2006

red with some matt in the tone. Wild red berry jam aroma, lacing of violet, the fruit a touch mature: this bouquet is not very “bubbly”, is a shade narrow. Downplayed fruit here – a traditional, rather mature, not crisp wine. It offers some width, then tapers. Not a great moment now. Has some persistence. Try from late 2009 on. 2015-17. Looking back I note this has never been an easy affair, life always a struggle as it were. Nov 2008 Previously April 2008 NR matt plum colour; the bouquet carries red fruits with some verve in them. The palate is rather insecure – it has pressed red fruit with an austere tone, and it finishes vacantly. Would have to taste another bottle. April 2008, London Previously Jan 2008 (vat) ** quite a dark red; red plum, stone fruit aroma with a little curve in it – three-quarter depth with biscuity, raisin sidelines. Red fruit kick-ff to the palate, but it is not that full or sure and ends rather unformed. Has some richness, but the fruit is not well defined today. A low profile wine on its acidity still. Patience easily the best option. From 2010. 2017-19 Jan 2008

2005

dark red plum; mild, rather reserved black fruit aroma that comes along a blackberry jam path, and is still very young, without much nuance, and also has a wee gamey note. There is some lithe tannin from the start of the palate, which is threaded into the black fruits; the result is a vigour and a smoky, pebbly black fruit finish. There are signs of mature crop in the oiliness of the black fruits, and a sweet tone emerges on the end. It is set to vary now, and hit a more funky stage. From mid-2009 or even a touch later. 2017-19 June 2008

2004 ()

quite dark. Minted, biscuity, black stone fruit aroma that is compact. The palate has some “dark” flavours, a little body and gain in weight through the palate. Sound poise and scope to move on. The tannins are ripe, but will be more settled by late 2007. 2018-21 Dec 2006 Previously July 2005 ***(*) solid nose, with compact black fruit within, and shows a well-balanced ripeness and peppered black berries. The palate holds sound fruit that is expressive and willing. Fresh tannic support lies in wait, and a stylish wine is in the making here. From 2008 for best first hit. 2015-18 July 2005

2003

still quite a bright red plum colour; has a supple, rounded red fruit aroma with some squeezy fruit within – it is unusual for a 2003 to have a strawberry aroma here. There is good integrity in the wine – it starts with red, Grenache-inspired fruits and has some clean, clear lines for the year. It ends on some tighter, peppered notes – there is a good bit of cocoa later on. Beau, stylish wine that may not have the real Gigondas punch, but works well. The length is good. Its tannins still end on a bit of a dry note. From late 2009 or 2010. 14.5°. 2020-22 June 2008 Previously July 2005 ***(*) broad, encompassing aroma with raspberry-loganberry style fruits hedged with spice and white pepper. This is definitely more rumbustious than the Vacqueyras. The palate is solid and enclosed, and requires time. Within there are black stone fruits with a truffly siding and plenty of tannins. Has some of the meaty, demanding character of the Mourvèdre, which is on top at present. Esp 2007 on. 2018-20 July 2005 Previously Nov 2004 *** soft, blackberry-toned bouquet, persists quite well. Violet, floral-shaped palate, also black stone fruits with tannic thread. Fair length. Restrained wine. Esp 2007 on. 2017-19 Nov 2004

2002

mild, advancing robe; black fruits-herbal aroma that is nicely prolonged, shows soft violet airs and southern garrigue mixed in with earthiness. There is life in this – it is peppery, has a good consitution, is frank. Good, live length. Its fruit is clear and well-defined in the cautious, slightly limited way of this vintage. 2014-16 Sept 2005 Previously *** soft, scented red fruits bouquet, is mild. Soft, feminine wine, fruit is round and pleasant. Very easy drinking, some cocoa traces here. A bit of end heat. Honest wine. Now to 2012-14. July 2005, Nov 2004

1999

rather full, evolving robe; Honey air in a closed nose that is not expressive just now. It is earthy, shows glints of raspberry within. Has a wide, minted debut, is rather powerful. It tapers, but keeps going, ending in pebbly tannins. A big wine, so decant it. It finish freshly, on the go. There is plenty of content – oomph! Long life ahead, a lot of wine here after all. Even if it is a bit disorderly, not that precise, I like its heart. “It was probably extraordinary when it was first bottled,” Pierre Amadieu. I suspect this was vinified at the Co-operative of Vacqueyras in their little domaine section. 14°, 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. 2020-22 June 2010 Previously Dec 2009 *(*) this was named simply Gigondas: red berry, mild cherry aroma that is a little clumsy, heavy. Gummy fruit on the palate which is locked up – this needs decanting and being served rather cool. Ripe raisin, sweet, heavy style wine. It reflects the desire to impress of those times, I suspect. 2015-16 Dec 2009