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Fill out your info and we will notify you when the 2015 Gigondas “Les Racines” Les Pallières is back in stock or when a new vintage becomes available.

Back to the Roots

by Tom Wolf

2015 Gigondas “Les Racines”

Domaine Les Pallières   France   |   Southern Rhône   |  Gigondas

Les Pallières is tucked away in the north of [Gigondas], on the way towards Sablet, and on a hot summer’s day is enveloped in a stillness and a mantle of sweet Provençal aromas that make the visitor feel he is entering an enchanted garden.”

—John Livingstone-Learmonth, The Wines of the Rhône 

Livingstone-Learmonth wrote those words in 1992, six years before Daniel Brunier, vigneron of the renowned Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, joined Kermit for lunch at Chez Panisse. At lunch, Daniel casually mentioned that Les Pallières in Gigondas had just come up for sale. The Roux family had overseen the property since 1400. Now, in the spring of 1998, it was clear there was no successor to inherit the legendary domaine. Kermit told Daniel, “It is almost too perfect. Let’s do it, let’s buy it together.”
     Together, they prevailed over several other interested parties—including some big négociants who had placed higher bids—thanks to the chemistry and shared philosophy between the 73-year-old Pierre Roux and Daniel Brunier’s father Henri. First and foremost, they were old-school farmers who cared about expressing their land through their wines.
     Right away, Kermit and the Bruniers made a few important changes to the vinification of the domaine’s wines, most notably leaving them unfiltered. In the twenty years since we introduced the first vintage—1998—to newsletter readers, however, not much has changed, except that Les Pallières’ lone Gigondas bottling was split into two: Les Racines and the Terrasse du Diable. The wines have always been robust, but thanks to the Bruniers’ touch and the insistence they share with Kermit on no filtration, the rouges are vibrant, coursing with energy.
     At five years old, the 2015 Racines, made from 80% Grenache, 15% co-planted Syrah and Cinsault, and 5% Clairette from the domaine’s oldest vines, is in its early prime and will continue to evolve beautifully over the next ten years at least. Opening it now, your nose will be filled with notes of perfectly ripe black cherries, spices, and Provençal herbs—garrigue—whose aromas are released by the hot summer sun into the Gigondas air.

More from this Producer or Region

About Southern Rhône

map of Southern Rhône

The southern Rhône valley is Grenache country. It’s also known for its stones. With a viticulture history dating back well before the Popes arrived in the 12th century and one of France’s oldest appellations d'origine contrôlée, Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, the southern Rhône is unquestionably one of France’s best known and premier winegrowing regions. The wines have the pedigree and age-worthiness of Burgundy and Bordeaux, but with a rustic, Mediterranean character. Like most wines from southern France, the reds, whites, and rosés are blends. Filling out the Grenache for the reds and rosés, you’ll often find Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault. The common white grape varieties are Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Viognier, Roussane, and Marsanne among others. From the alluvial riverbed stones found in Lirac, Tavel, and Châteauneuf to the limestone cliffs of the Dentelles de Montmirail that influence Beaumes-de-Venise (where you’ll find excellent Muscat), Vacqueyras, and Gigondas, great terroir abounds.

Kermit’s entrance in the region came in the mid 1970s on his first trip with Richard Olney, an American ex-pat and friend of Alice Waters. On that trip, Richard introduced Kermit to the Brunier family of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. Soon after, Kermit began importing the Brunier’s wines—their Châteauneuf-du-Pape “La Crau” bottling remains a staple of our portfolio today. In the late 1990s Kermit teamed up with the Brunier family to purchase the famed Gigondas estate, Domaine Les Pallières. More than 40 years later, we now import wines from fifteen southern Rhône domaines spanning the entire area of the region.

More from Southern Rhône or France

2019 Ventoux Rouge “Mégaphone”

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2019 Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge

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2017 Côtes du Vivarais Rouge

Domaine Gallety  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes du Vivarais


2019 Côtes-du-Rhône “La Sagesse”

Domaine Gramenon  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes-du-Rhône


2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “La Crau”

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Châteauneuf-du-Pape


2019 Côtes du Rhône

Selected by Kermit Lynch  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes du Rhône


2019 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse “Le Pigeoulet” Rouge

Famille Brunier  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Vin de Pays de Vaucluse


2019 Côtes-du-Rhône “Poignée de Raisins”

Domaine Gramenon  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Côtes-du-Rhône


2018 Tavel Rosé MAGNUM

Château de Trinquevedel  France  |  Southern Rhône  |  Tavel


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