Domaine Gramenon needs no introduction: vigneronne Michèle Aubéry and her son, Maxime-François Laurent, are at the very top of their game, creating wondrous cuvées each year according to the principles of biodynamic farming and natural winemaking that launched the domaine to stardom across Parisian wine bars more than twenty years ago. Situated in the northeastern reaches of the southern Rhône, their vines—primarily Grenache, most of it quite old—sit at elevation on a plateau of fractured limestone slabs and feathery decomposed sandstone. These latest releases from Michèle and Maxime-François (bottled under his own label) showcase the brilliance attainable when top-notch terroir falls into the right hands.
A pure Syrah bottling from the land of Grenache. Syrah soaks up its surroundings as if it were at home, offering wild flavors of the Provençal countryside gently wrapped in a thick coat of tooth-staining deep purple fruit. The cool nights at elevation confer lovely freshness to this unhindered expression of southern sunshine.
Three terroirs make up this cuvée you would be sage to decant, or hold up to ten years in a cool place. A sandy parcel brings lively floral aromatics and elegant fruit, clay contributes depth and fleshiness, and a third plot on rocky limestone makes its presence felt on the tightly wound, almost salty finish. A masterpiece of old-vine Grenache.
A glorious ruby robe with purplish glints prefaces this blend of old Grenache with some Syrah from the Visan subzone of the Côtes-du-Rhône. The nose follows with evocative scents of Provence: sun-ripened blackberries, lavender, black olive, garrigue...A dusting of earthy tannins gives this plump, generous red just enough texture and grip.
This new white to the lineup, a marriage of Bourboulenc and Grenache Blanc, clocks in at a refreshing 12.5% alcohol. You’ll find the classic perfume of a good southern Rhône white, including stone fruit, hay, and fragrant mimosa blossoms. With no rough edges, it beckons you to follow Maxime-François’s advice: “Drink it when you are very, very thirsty!”
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