Certified Organic (2012)
Variety: 80% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre
Country Region: France, Southern Rhône Valley
80% Grenache (planted 1964), 20% Mourvèdre (planted 1977). 100% de-stemmed and fermented in large concrete tanks for 5 weeks or more. Matured in large old 50 hl oak foudres for 12 months before bottling un-fined and unfiltered. This typically shows very well from a young age with great balance and finesse.
‘Vivid ruby. A highly fragrant bouquet evokes candied red fruits, smoky minerals and lavender; a spicy nuance builds as the wine opens up. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, juicy raspberry, cherry and floral pastile flavours show good heft, seamless texture and real energy. It finishes spicy and impressively long, with sneaky tannins adding a final grip. This is shaping up to be a highly impressive entry-level bottling, which is not surprising given that this is the only Gigondas that will be bottled this year, so all the juice from the Louisiane and Souteyrades is going into this wine. Get it, lots of it, if you can. Raised in neutral, 50 hectoliter oak foudres." (93-95) points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous, January 2023.
Domaine Saint Damien
Domaine Saint-Damien is run by Joel and Amie Saurel and their son Romain who has now taken charge of the winemaking. The Saurel family had been tending vineyards for four generations, dating back to 1821, and until recently had been selling all of the grapes to negociants. In 1996 Joel resumed producing wine at the estate and in 1998 they brought on consulting winemaker Philippe Cambie. Vinification is classic with wines being made in large old cement tanks and aged in either the tanks or large old foudres for the Gigondas.
Today the estate is comprised of 17 hectares of vineyards of which 12 are in Gigondas. All their vineyards are certified organic since 2012. The vines are an average age of 50 years and are very low yielding. The wines of Gigondas are bottled according to individual terroir (particularly soil type) known as the Saint Damien Trilogy.