50 years of Gigondas


Gigondas celebrated its 50th year as an appellation with dinner at La Mirande, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Avignon. We ate well, and tasted ten different wines, going back in time just a little to 2006.

Louis Barroul introduced the evening – he’s chair of the appellation at the moment. ‘It’s a celebration of a terroir,’ he says. ‘There is no great terroir without good people behind it.’ Louis also suggests that the passing on of knowledge from generation to generation is vital for a good terroir. ‘This is about transmission. If you forget about the idea of transmission, you forget about the terroir in the long term. We only work once a year, so the learning curve can be slow. I have learned so much from other growers.’

Maison Ogier Oratorio 2018 Gigondas, France
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre aged in foudres (70%) and barriques (30%). Marne and calcaire soils. Fresh and vibrant, this is a ripe, modern expression of Gigondas with sweet, glossy, juicy black cherry fruit. Lovely fruit here. 92/100

Domaine du Gour de Chaulé La Numéro Huit 2018 Gigondas, France
99% Grenache and 1% Mourvèdre on sandy soils 13 months elevage in Nomblot concrete egg. Fresh, elegant, very pure and supple. Ripe and sweetly fruit, showing smoothness of texture and lovely elegance. It seems quite alcoholic, but it’s a beautiful wine. 94/100

Moulin de la Gardette Ventabren 2015 Gigondas, France
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, aged in old foudres. Nice elegance here: fresh and supple with sweet cherries and plums, showing good elegance. Ripe with a hint of liquorice and some spicy notes on the palate. Very stylish. 94/100

Domaine du Grapillon D’Or Excellence 2014 Gigondas, France
65% Grenache, 35% Syrah. This is ripe and sweetly fruited with nice raspberry and cherry fruit. But there’s also a meaty, animal edge with a savoury phenolic bite that’s indicative of a fair whack of Brettanomyces. But there’s still a sense of deliciousness here: it just depends how animal you like your wines. 90/100

Domaine La Boussière Tradition 2012 Gigondas, France
Sandy clay soils, with some limestone. 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah. Fresh and concentrated with sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit. Grainy with some spicy notes, a touch of pepper and sleek black fruits. Ripe and rich, but balanced. 93/100

Domaine Montirius Confidential 2011 Gigondas, France
80% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre. Cement tanks. Biodynamic farming. Black cherries, spice and gravel. There’s nice depth here with a grainy structure. Brooding and well structured, this has a distinctive savoury edge. 92/100

Château de Saint Cosme Valbelle 2010 Gigondas, France
90% Grenache, 10% Syrah. Aged in small oak, 30% new. Grenache component is 80 year old vines, with the Syrah planted in 1969. Sweetly aromatic with ripe black cherries, some olive. Supple and juicy with black cherries and blackcurrant. Still quite youthful even at age 11 and a bit, with a peppery edge to the fruit. 94/100

Domaine de Longue Toque Hommage à Gabrielle Meffre 2010 Gigondas, France
98% Grenache, 2% Syrah, aged 18 months in large oak. This has some maturity. It’s ripe and smooth with sleek ripe cherry and berry fruit. Chalky and textural with some nice green hints. Very stylish. 93/100

Pierre Amadieu Le Pas d’Aigle 2007 Gigondas, France
Grenache and Syrah aged for 24 months in foudres. Clay limestone soils at 400 m. Ripe, rich and broad with sweet ripe berry fruits. Sleek and quite fresh with pure, ripe berry and black fruits. Good concentration with nice freshness in a sweet, sleek style. 92/100

Domaine Santa Duc Les Hautes Garrigues 2006 Gigondas, France
50% Grenache, 50% Mourvèdre. Aged 18 months in foudres, and also in 800 litre terracotta amphora. Biodynamic farming. Appealing sweet black cherry and blackberry fruit with some tomato notes. Sweetly fruited with some grainy detail and a bit of structure. 93/100

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