Rhone Valley

Domaine La Ligière (Biodynamic) – Southern Rhône

Impression

Overview

Situated in Beaumes de Venise, Domaine La Ligière is a biodynamic and organic vineyard which consists of 60 hectares of vines, 30 hectares of which are planted in AOC Vacqueyras.  For 5 generations, the Bernard family cultivated the land for grape vines and other agricultural products, but it wasn’t until 2008 when Philippe Bernard and his wife Elisabeth Serra started producing wine from their own grapes.  The vineyard is planted with Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre vines that are about 50 years of age on average (and up to 75 years on the oldest plot).  Domaine La Ligière has been committed to cultivating their vines without the use of fertilizer, weed killer, or any chemical treatment whatsoever for over 10 years.  The soil is plowed regularly and fertilized with organic compost in the fall, and the harvest is protected only with the use of natural products such as sulfur, copper, plant infusions (nettle, horsetail, wicker, etc), and biodynamic preparations.

 

The Vacqueyras Terroir

A particular composition of vineyard plots…

These plots were very precisely defined by the INAO, the “Institut des Appellations et de la Qualité” (the French appellations and quality institute), in 1990 when Vacqueyras was promoted to the rank of “Cru”. This “terroir” of 1,390 hectares is made up of numerous plots, often of small size, spread over the two districts of Vacqueyras and Sarrians and laid out in terraces.

The wines fully express the identity of the Vacqueyras “appellation”, The Strength and The Balance. Anyone, even non professionals, tasting the wine will always pick up these two complementary traits which are behind the perfect result. Powerful yet finely woven tannins, a developed spicy nose, and always fresh on the palate with a gentle finish.


Sud Absolu VDP Vaucluse Rouge

Varietal Composition: 50% Syrah, 50% Carignan

Soil: Sandy clay

Average Age of the Vines: 40 years old

Average Yield: 70 hl/ha

Harvest: Mechanical harvest; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 3 weeks.  No filtration or fining.  Contains sulfites.

Tasting Notes: The bouquet is full of dark fruit accompanied by wilder notes; the mouth is round and pleasant, with beautiful balance and finesse.  The finish is precise and clean; this is truly the perfect wine to drink for all occasions.

Food Pairings: Pairs well with most dishes, including spicy cuisine and grilled meats.

Alcohol Content: 13%

Serving Temperature: Decant for 1 hour and serve between 16-18°C

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Sud Absolu VDP Vaucluse Blanc

Varietal Composition: 100% Muscat Blanc à Petit Grain

Soil: Sandy clay

Average Age of the Vines: 30 years old

Average Yield: 70 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest with a sorting of the grapes on the vine

Vinification: After grapes are pressed, fermentation follows using indigenous yeasts at a low temperature of 14°C.  No malolactic fermentation.

Tasting Notes: Pale yellow color with golden reflections.  The nose is intense, with exotic fruity notes like passion fruit, mixed with floral fragrances.  On the palate, it is velvety, fleshy, fruity, with good acidity, and a fresh, citrusy finish.

Food Pairings: Does well as an aperitif served with tapas, or with salads, vegetables such as asparagus, and light chicken dishes.

Alcohol Content: 13%

Residual Sugar: <3 g/L

Serving Temperature: Serve chilled between 12-13°C

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Cotes du Rhone Sud Absolu

Cotes du Rhone Rouge Sud Absolu

Varietal Composition: 70% Grenache (30 year old vines), 30% Syrah (30 year old vines)

Soil: Calcareous sands

Average Yield: 50 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 4-5 weeks.  No filtration or fining.  Contains sulfites.

Annual Production: 50,000 bottles

Tasting Notes: Satin smooth texture, spicily fruity wine, which has a complex range of berry flavors.

Food Pairings: Excellent when paired with duck or goose dishes

Cellaring Potential: 3-5 years

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Côtes du Rhône Les Capelles

Varietal Composition: 70% Grenache (30 years old), 20% Syrah (20 years old), 10% Mourvèdre (30 years old)

Soil: Sandy-clay and limestone

Average Yield: 45 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 4-5 weeks.  No filtration or fining.  Contains sulfites.

Annual Production: 10,000 bottles

Tasting Notes: Deep violet color.  The nose reveals notes of fresh fruit, currant, blueberry, and licorice.  On the palate, it is crisp, fleshy, fresh, with hints of red fruit and supple tannins.

Food Pairings: Pairs well with charcuterie or rack of lamb

Alcohol Content: 13.5%

Serving Temperature: 18-20°C

Cellaring Potential: 5-7 years

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Vacqueyras Sud Absolu

Vacqueyras Sud Absolu

Varietal Composition: 70% Grenache (5.2 year old vines), 30% Syrah (5.2 year old vines)

Soil: Clay-limestone (garrigues)

Average Yield: 35 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest with sorting; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 3-4 weeks.  No filtration or fining.  Contains sulfites.

Tasting Notes: This ripe, sensual wine reveals notes of dark fruit such as blackcurrants and black cherries on the palate, complemented by a well-balanced acidity and fine tannins.  Fleshy mouth feel, sweet and spicy on the finish.

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Vacqueyras

Vacqueyras

Varietal Composition: 70% Grenache (50 year old vines), 20% Syrah (30 year old vines) and 10% Mourvèdre (30 year old vines)

Soil: Clay-limestone (garrigues)

Average Yield: 35 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest with sorting; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 4-5 weeks.  No filtration or fining.  Contains sulfites.

Tasting Notes: Cherry red color with violet reflections.  The bouquet is rich and complex, with aromas of red fruit, blackberry, coffee, and licorice.  On the palate, it is both supple and fleshy, fresh and balanced.  The finish is long with notes of cherry and hints of tight tannins.

Annual Production: 20,000 bottles

Alcohol Content: 14.5%

2012 Reviews: “Bright ruby. Ripe cherry, black raspberry and garrigue on the fragrant nose. Lush and broad on entry, offering pliant dark berry flavors that pick up a medicinal quality and turn firmer with air. Closes on a floral note, with chewy, building tannins and a hint of bitter cherry pit.”-89pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2011 Reviews:

“Deep ruby. Sexy, high-pitched aromas of red berry preserves, potpourri and Asian spices, plus a bright mineral overtone. Sappy and seamless on the palate, offering intense raspberry and cherry flavors and a suave floral pastille nuance. Finishes spicy and impressively long, with harmonious tannins adding shape. Drinking very well right now but should age nicely on its balance.”-91pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

“The 2011 Vacqueyras is a beauty! A blend of 70% Grenache, and the balance Syrah and Mourvedre, aged all in concrete tank, it is bottled unfined and unfiltered. Possessing a perfumed, medium-bodied profile, with gorgeous raspberry, sweet spice, underbrush and leather all emerging from the glass, this textured, balanced and seamless 2011 has plenty of polish and purity. It’s an outstanding effort, in a difficult vintage, and should be enjoyed over the coming 4-6 years.”-90pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

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Vacqueyras Le Chemin Blanc

Varietal Composition: 80% Clairettes, 20% Roussane

Soil: Clay-limestone (garrigues)

Average Yield: 35 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest with sorting; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Pre-fermentation maceration and pressing.  Fermentation using natural yeasts, partially in barrels.  Aging on the fine lees.  Contains sulfites.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant, limpid golden color.  This wine has a rich and complex nose, with notes of peach, vanilla, and honey.  The palate is fleshy, fresh, and well-balanced, with a long, elegant finish.

Food Pairings: Pairs well with seafood or white meat in sauce. For cheese, go with Cottage or Vacherin Mont d’Or.  Also excellent as an aperitif.

Alcohol Content: 13%

Serving Temperature: 15°C

2014 Reviews: “Light, bright yellow. Ripe citrus and pit fruit scents complicated by suggestions of dusty minerals and pungent flowers. Supple and focused on the palate, offering supple tangerine and white peach and honey flavors and a spicy ginger nuance. Clings nicely on the finish, where the floral and ginger notes echo.”-89pts, Josh Raynolds, April 2016, Vinous

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Impression

Vacqueyras Cuvée Point G

Varietal Composition: 100% Grenache (75 year old vines and older)

Soil: Clay-limestone (garrigues)

Average Yield: 26 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest with sorting; no destemming of grapes

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 4-5 weeks.  Punching over-no pump used.  No filtration or fining.  Aging in barrels of 3 wines for 5 months.

Tasting Notes: Garnet color.  Notes of dark fruit, toasted almonds, and coffee.  Beautiful expression of the terroir and the older vines from which this is produced.

Food Pairings: The perfect companion for forest fowl or a filet of beef in sauce.

Alcohol Content: 14.5%

Serving Temperature: Serve at 18°C

Cellaring Potential: 7-10 years or longer

2014 Reviews: “Deep ruby. Lively, sharply focused scents of fresh red fruits, spicecake and white pepper are complemented by a floral quality that builds in the glass. Juicy and precise, offering sappy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of star anise. Supple tannins shape a long, juicy finish that leaves behind a sexy floral note.”-91pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

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Beaumes de Venise

Beaumes de Venise Rouge

Varietal Composition: 60% Grenache (40 years old), 40% Syrah (40 years old)

Soil: Sandy-clay and limestone

Average Yield: 35 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 4-5 weeks.  No filtration or fining.  Contains sulfites.

Annual Production: 7,000 bottles

Tasting Notes: Situated at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, the terroir of Beaumes de Venise gives complexity and freshness to this wine, along with aromas of dark fruit and good structure.  Between the Cotes du Rhone and the Vacqueyras, this Beaumes de Venise has found a beautiful balance.

Food Pairings: This is the perfect accompaniment to red meat, duck, or rabbit dishes.

Alcohol Content: 14%

Serving Temperature: 18-20°C

Cellaring Potential: 8-10 years

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Gigondas Les Bergines

Varietal Composition: 70% Grenache (50 year old vines) and 30% Mourvèdre (30 year old vines)

Soil: Sandy-clay & limestone

Average Yield: 36 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest; grapes are not destemmed

Vinification: Fermentation using natural yeasts.  Maceration for 4-5 weeks.  No filtration or fining.  Contains sulfites.

Aging: 30% aged in barrels for 6 months

Annual Production: 2,000 bottles

Tasting Notes: Situated on a soil of clay-limestone, the Grenache and Mourvèdre grapes lend finesse, freshness, and structure to this wine, complemented by notes of red fruit and spice.

Food Pairings: The Gigondas goes well with wild game and other meats prepared rare to medium-rare

Alcohol Content: 15%

Serving Temperature: 18-20°C

Cellaring Potential: 5-10 years

2015 Reviews: “Vivid ruby-red. Expressive red berry and cherry aromas are complemented by hints of candied flowers and smoky minerals. Juicy raspberry and spicecake flavors show appealing sweetness and a spicy undertone that gains power with air. Smoothly blends power and vivacity, finishing with gentle tannic grip, a hint of allspice and very good persistence. “-91pts, Vinous

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Muscat de Beaumes de Venise

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise

Varietal Composition: 100% Muscat Petit Grain

Soil: Sandy-clay

Average Yield: 25 hl/ha

Harvest: Manual harvest; grapes are completely destemmed

Vinification: Cold maceration, followed by fermentation at a low temperature of 14°C using natural yeasts.  No malolactic fermentation.

Annual Production: 5,000 bottles

Residual Sugar: 100 g/L

Tasting Notes: Bright yellow color.  This wine possesses an intense and complex bouquet, with beautiful floral aromas (rose) in harmony with notes of orange peel and passion fruit.  Its balance, delicate acidity, freshness, and ripe peach notes on the palate lead into a long, lovely finish.

Food Pairings: The Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is the perfect accompaniment to foie gras or paté, desserts such as fruit tarts, and soft cheeses.

Alcohol Content: 15%

Serving Temperature: 10-12°C

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Domaine Lou Frejau (Organic) – Southern Rhône

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The Estate

Situated near the famous Mont Ventoux, and close to the fabulous ancient city of Orange, lies the estate of Lou Frejau.

In 1982, Serge Chastan, a traditional man of the earth, founded Domaine Lou Fréjau (pronounced Lou Freyjao), which means “the round pebble.”  This name is drawn from the songs of Provence and inspired by the polished stones that riddle the soil of the vineyard.

Chastan’s wife, Christiane, joined him in 2003, and together they manage the wine making of the estate using traditional methods and their expansive knowledge of oenology, working with total respect of the region and environment.  Since 2010, Domaine Lou Fréjau has been an organic estate.


 

Etiquette

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

*Organic*

The Vines: The Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge is made up of 8 grape varietals from the appellation: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Vaccarèse, Cinsault, Counoise, Terret, and Muscardin.

The Soil: Clay and limestone covered with pebbles

Vinification: The vinification is a traditional long fermentation lasting about 3 weeks.  In the cellar, it is poured in huge oak casks (30-50 hl) where the liquid enjoys a moment of rest.  It will mature for about 12 months on average, depending on the vintage.

Tasting Notes: Crimson with purple hues, bright and intense.  Complex floral and fruity nose supplemented by spicy notes, garrigue, and mineral.  It has a powerful and elegant framework, but remains generous and round in the mouth with beautiful aromas of red and black fruit.  The finish reveals all its qualities.  Very good aging potential.

2010 Reviews: “Vivid ruby. The perfumed nose offers an exotic array of red berry preserve, incense and floral scents. Bright raspberry and redcurrant flavors show good depth and impressive energy, with silky tannins adding back-end grip. Spiciness builds on the long, juicy finish, which echoes the bright red fruit and floral notes.” –92pts, Vinous, Josh Raynolds

2007 Reviews:

“Bright ruby. Sexy floral and red berry scents are complemented by notes of incense and minerals. Very fresh and light in body, offering sweet redcurrant and raspberry flavors and showing no tannins. Acts like a pinot noir, finishing with very good clarity and spicy persistence. No way I’d have guessed this to be grenache, much less from Chateauneuf.”-89pts, Vinous

“A straight, elegant, even charming wine, the 2007 Châteauneuf du Pape offers classic notes of roasted herbs, Provencal garrigue, pan drippings and spice in a medium to full-bodied, enjoyable style. There’s a dry edge to the tannin, but it has plenty of sweet fruit still front and center. Nevertheless, I’d lean towards drinking bottles over the coming handful of years.”-89pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

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FREJAU CDR BACK-copy

Côtes du Rhône Rouge

*Organic*

The Vines: 89% Grenanche, 8% Cinsault, 3% Syrah

The Soil: Sandy soil

Vinification: The vinification consists of an immediate pressing, vinification at low tempreature (17° – 18°).  In the cellar, the wine is poured into huge oak casks (30-50 hl), after which it is left to rest. At this point, the wine will mature, be refined, and bottled soon thereafter.

Tasting Notes: Powerful nose with scents of jams and berries with hints of brandy, leather, and spice.  On the palate, this wine is flexible with generous flavors and a thin, discreet, and dry finish.  Pairs well with sausages, black pudding, terrine, and pâté.

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Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée XIII

*Organic*

Soil: Clay limestone with round pebbles

Harvest: Manual

Vinification: Long fermentation lasting about 3 weeks, first portion of aging takes place in oak barrels (50hl) for a few months, followed by 3 years in casks (400L) right up until bottling. The varietal blend is already decided in the plots, so that the complement of flavors is optimized during aging.

Grape Varietals: The 13 grape varieties of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation are: Grenache Blanche, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussane, Picardan for white grapes, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, Counoise, Muscardin, and Terret for red grape varieties.

Tasting Notes: Very deep and brilliant reddish purple color. The nose is complex with notes of red fruit such as raspberries, blackberries, and cherries; after decanting, notes of toasted vanilla bean, cocoa, and tobacco arise. Honed by powerful tannins, it remains very well structured with the feel and finesse of the white grape varieties. The mineral element comes back on the finish. Intense aromatic persistence, round in the mouth and very generous; this wine is very well balanced. The finish reveals all its qualities …..this is a wine with a very high aging potential.

Awards:
-Médaille d’Or au Concours Des Grands Vins de France à Macon
-Médaille d’Argent au Concours des Vins de la Foire D’Avignon
-Guide Hachette Des Vins 2015- Guide Dussert-Gerbert Des Vins****
-Robert Parker et Jeb Dunnuck 89/100 -John Livingstone-Learmonth ****
-Sélection 1001 Dégustation. SommelierS International Dégustation Prestige 2015
-International Wine Cellar: Stephen Tanzer’s Joshua Raynolds 92/100

Famille Kreydenweiss (Biodynamic) – Southern Rhône

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The Estate

The Kreydenweiss family decided to further explore the négociant business by partnering with one producer in Châteauneuf-du-Pape who shares the same philosophy of biodynamics as Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss.  Unlike a typical négociant, the Domaine works closely with its partners-in the vineyard and throughout the growing season and the winery through harvest-before the wines are aged in the cellars of Domaine Marc Kreydenweiss; consumers will certainly find in these wines “l’ Âme de la Terre” or “the Soul of the Earth.”


Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

Overview: The first Châteauneuf-du-Pape, made from a single vineyard, was produced in 2006.  This wine is made from grapes farmed biodynamically and consists of 95% Grenache (with Syrah and Mourvèdre).

Appellation: AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The Soil: The terroir is composed of round pebbles, quartzite, clay, and sandy chalk.

Grape Varietals: 95% Grenache, with Syrah + Mourvèdre

Vine Age: 100-120 years

Production Area: 200 ares

Annual Production: 417 cases

Tasting Notes: The spicy, exotic nose is marked by subtle notes of black cherries and cassis, with hints of vanilla and curry.  This Grenache has body and finesse in the mouth, with elegant layers and a lovely, long aftertaste.  Perfect for cellaring.

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Jeanne Gaillard – Northern Rhône

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Overview: Jeanne Gaillard, daughter of winemaker Pierre Gaillard, was forcibly introduced to the world of wine when she was a child. Jeanne had gotten caught for some mischevious act, and as punishment, was made to go work in the family vineyard. Her experience that day triggered a lifelong passion for wine!

Years later, she would end up studying sales and viticulture in Beaune, and would have internships at wineries in France and abroad. She was first employed by an estate in Burgundy followed by a winery in California.

In 2008, when she was 24 years old, she acquired 5 hectares in IGP Crozes-Hermitage and 8 hectares in IGP Collines Rhodaniennes, and has been managing them ever since.

 

 

Jeanne GaillardLocation: Jeanne Gaillard Vineyard is spread out between 3 administrative zones–Rhone, Loire, Drome–and 3 districts–Marsaz, Malleval and Ternay

Surface Area: 13 hectares

Soils: Smooth pebbles, clay, fine sand composed of detrital granite

Grape Varietals:
-Red : Syrah, Merlot
-White: Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Chardonnay, Muscat

Annual Yield: 60,000 bottles


 

Jeanne Gaillard Syrah Terres de Mandrin

Syrah IGP Terres de Mandrin Vin de Pays

The Estate: This vineyard is planted in the plain of the Drôme around the Crozes-Hermitage appellation and on the granite plateaus overlooking the Saint-Joseph appellation. The soils are especially adapted to vine-growing. They produce fresh and supple wines that are typical of the northern part of the Rhone Valley.

The Vines: The grape variety is 100% Syrah. The surface area of the vines is 10 hectares. The average yield is about 50-55 hl/ha.

Vinification: Partly hand-picked and partly machine harvested. Sorting of healthy and well-ripened grapes. Total de-stemming. Cold maceration before fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation at 25°C. Maceration after fermentation at 25°C. Malolactic fermentation in vats or in casks.

Maturation: In vats or in casks for 6 months. The wine is matured on lees in vats in order for the tannins to become more supple, thereby combining well with the fruitiness offered by the Syrah grape variety. Strawberry, raspberry, black currant and red currant aromas come to the fore. In its youth this wine exhales very fresh and very pleasant notes.

Tasting Notes: Named for the French Robin Hood known as Louis Mandrin, and grown nearby the northern Rhone Valley appellations, this IGP expresses the fruitiness of young wines, all the while preserving the typical character of wines from this region. This wine benefits from a bit less extraction than the appellation wines nearby, but it still expresses the fresh qualities and fleshy fruitiness associated with the Syrah grape variety. Superb, with precision and elegance, a gourmet concentration highlights this Syrah’s spicy and smoky notes. Pleasurable on the palate with an acidic finish, full of freshness and red fruit.

2015 Reviews: “Lurid ruby. Smoke-accented dark fruits on the nose and in the mouth, lifted by a spicy pepper element. Chewy and slow to open, showing good energy and a bitter chocolate note on the gripping, youthfully tannic finish.”-Josh Raynolds, Vinous

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Jeanne Gaillard Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Surface Area: 0.3 hectares

Situation: Southwest

Districts: Ternay (Rhône), Malleval (Loire), Marsaz (Drôme)

Grape Varietals: 100% Chardonnay

Soils: Large round pebbles resting on clay and fine sand comprised of detrital granite. Benefiting from good exposure, the soils absorb heat well, thereby creating a perfect micro-climate favoring the ripening of wine grapes.

Harvest: Manual, sorting of healthy and well-ripened grapes

Alcoholic Fermentation: In barrels with controlled temperatures between 15 and 18°C.

Malolactic Fermentation: In barrels; Slow barrel fermentations (at a temperature of less than 18°C) helping to preserve the wine’s fruity characteristics and freshness.

Maturation: 7-8 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers. New oak barrels 10%. Stirring on lees once a week.

Cellaring Potential: 5-6 years

Tasting Notes: The stirring and the use of lees during the entire aging period produces round and ready to drink wines.  Fresh straw, toasted bread, and tropical fruit aromas.

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Jeanne Gaillard Roussanne

Roussane IGP

Surface Area: 0.5 hectares

District: Chavanay, Malleval (Loire)

Grape Varietals: 100% Roussanne

Soils: Fine sand and detrital granite; in this granite soil, Roussane produces wines that are very aromatic and perfectly balanced. Their rich attack and generosity on the palate balances well with a very mineral finish.

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of the healthy and well-ripened grapes. Alcoholic fermentation in barrels with a temperature control between 15 and 18°C. Malolactic fermentation in barrels Gentle fermentation in barrels (maintained under a temperature of 18°C), thereby preserving the wine’s fruit and freshness.

Maturation: 7 to 8 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers. New oak 10%. Stirring on lees once a week.

Cellaring Potential: 5 to 6 years

Tasting Notes: Ample, well-ripened, and ready to drink; very aromatic and perfectly balanced; the rich attack and generosity on the palate balances well with a very mineral finish. Floral and honeyed notes.

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saint joseph la releve

Saint-Joseph La Relève

Surface Area: 1 hectare

Districts: Chavanay and Malleval (Loire)

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah

Soils: Granite

Yield: 40 hl/ha

Average Age of Vines: 30 years old; the grapes come from three different parcels of vines. Traditionally grown, these vines have been meticulously cared for and are now in very good condition.

Vinification: Hand picked harvest. Cold maceration prior to fermentation for 4 to 5 days. Alcoholic fermentation at 30°C. Maceration after fermentation at 35°C. Malolactic fermentation in barrels. Designed for aging, this wine was highly extracted, thereby revealing the terroir’s rich qualities and mineral characteristics.

Maturation: Aging takes place in a combination of new oak barrels and barrels used once or twice before. Gentle maturing with elegant oak, thereby respecting the wine’s true character.

2015 Reviews: “Deep bright-rimmed ruby. Smoky, mineral-accented cherry and dark berry aromas are complicated by hints of olive and licorice. Supple and broad on the palate, offering gently sweet blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become spicier as the wine opens up. A subtle floral pastille note builds steadily on the clinging finish, which shows very good clarity and well-knit tannins.”-91pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

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Jeanne Gaillard Viognier

Viognier

Surface Area: 0.4 hectares

Districts: Slopes facing south-west in Ternay (Rhône) and the plains of Marsaz (Drôme)

Grape Varietals: 100% Viognier

Soils: Fine sand of detrital granite; the acid soil is made up of big round pebbles that absorb heat, thereby contributing to the good maturity of the grapes

Vinification: Partly handpicked and partly machine harvested. Sorting of the healthy and the well-ripened grapes. Alcoholic fermantation in barrels with temperature control between 15 and 18°C. Malolactic fermentation in barrels. The grapes are vinified using the same techniques as appellation wines: the must ferments in barrels at a low temperature (between 16°C minimum and 18 °C maximum). Any risk of oxidation is avoided to allow the Viognier grapes to fully express themselves.

Maturation: 7 to 8 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers. 10% new oak. Lee stirring once a week. The lees are conserved during maturing and frequently stirred. This technique develops the natural fleshy and unctuous characteristics of Viognier associated with this terroir.

Tasting Notes: Unctuous, aromatic, and fresh; vivid minerality with a rich aromatic palate of white flowers, peach, and apricot

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syrah-vdp

Syrah Vin de Pays

Surface Area: 10 hectares

Districts: Marzas (Drôme), Malleval (Loire); located around the Crozes-Hermitage appellation and on the granite plateaus overlooking the Saint-Joseph appellation

Grape Varietals: 100% Syrah

Soils: Sandy

Yield: 50-55 hl/ha

Vinification: Partly hand-picked and partly machine harvested. Sorting of healthy and well ripened grapes. Total destemming. Cold maceration before fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation at 25°C. Maceration after fermentation at 25°C. Malolactic fermentation in vats or in casks. This wine benefits from a bit less extraction than the appellation wines nearby, but it still expresses the fresh qualities and fleshy fruitness associated with the Syrah grape varietal.

Maturation: In vats or in casks for 6 months. The wine is matured on lees in vats in order for the tannins to become more supple, thereby combining well with the fruitiness offered by the Syrah grape variety.

Tasting Notes: Tasty, fresh and supple. Strawberry, raspberry, black currant and red currant aromas come to the fore. In its youth this wine exhales very fresh and very pleasant notes.

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Pierre Gaillard – Northern Rhône

 

The Estate

Pierre Gaillard studied Viticulture and Enology in Beaune, and obtained a Graduate Diploma in Winemaking from Montpellier.  He bought his first parcel of land in 1981 which was called Clos de Cuminailles, located in Malleval.  It was there in the upper part of the medieval town of Malleval that Gaillard established his business.  In 2002, he created the estate of Madeloc in Banyuls-sur-Mer, followed by the estate of Cottebrune in Faugères in 2007.  Today, Gaillard manages a total of 77 hectares.

The vineyard is located in the northern part of the Rhone Valley, ranging from Cote-Rotie down through to Cornas in the South. Planted on steep slopes, the vines are located on the last foothills of the Massif Central.

 

 

The Vines

Environmental grape growing techniques are implemented on the three estates.  The use of organic fertilizers is adjusted to each vineyard’s needs. High plantation density allows the roots to develop and helps to regulate the yield. The soils are tilled to push the roots to grow deep into the soil, letting the vines benefit from the terroir’s natural resources.

Pierre Gaillard tries to make sure that the phenolic maturity of the grapes is achieved around the same time as their alcoholic maturity. The implementation of leaf-fining and green harvesting increases the foliage exposed to the sunlight, thereby directly influencing the wines’ structure and color.

 

Surface Area
25 hectares
Soils
Decomposing schist (Côte-Rôtie), altered granite (Saint-Joseph, Condrieu and Côtes-du-Rhône). Parent rock on the surface of several parcels. Light, well-drained and warm soil.[/accordion_section] Grape Varietals
Red: Syrah
Whites: Viognier, Roussanne
Yield
120,000 bottles/year


 

Asiaticus

Asiaticus

Overview: This wine reflects its terroir of slopely schist facing south on the left bank of the Rhône.  During the Roman era, this area used to produce the reputed wines of Terres de Viennae.

Terroir: Asiaticus is certainly the most famous person from Vienne (France) during the Gallo-Roman era (1st century AD).  He was a senator and then a consul in Rome.  He knew the Emperors and participated in the elimination of Caligula and the rise of Claudius.  He was a rich patron and owned land within the territory of the city of Vienne.  He was the important figure at the time, largely contributing to the notoriety of the Wines of Vienne throughout the Empire and especially in Rome.  From a geological point of view, the schist rock bordering the Massif Central to the east was split by a fault when the Alps emerged.  The Rhône found its path when this area collapsed, separating a small block of schist on the other bank.  The curve of the Rhône near the city of Vienne orients these slopes on the south side by offering them a perfect protection against the cold winds of the north.  According to legend, the Romans produced their best wines-Sotanum, Taburnum, and Helicum-from this terroir.

Surface Area: About 1 ha

District: Seyssuel

Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah

Soils: Slope facing southwest, schist

Yield: 30 hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of healthy and well-ripened grapes.  Total destemming.  Cold fermentation before maceration,  alcoholic fermentation at 35°C.  Maceration following fermentation at 30°C.  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  Cap-punching, pumping over and release techniques help to thoroughly extract the aromas and the tannins associated with the  terroir of Seyssuel.

Aging: 18 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  Barrels: 50% new with oxygen added every 4 months.

Tasting Notes: The special character of this terroir is well reflected by this wine.  It expresses both strength and elegance with good balance.  It can be consumed in its youth, but also after 10-15 years of aging.

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Cornas

Cornas

Terroir: This parcel of old vines over the age of 70, acquired in 2006, is situated on altered granite slopes, offering good drainage and warmth from the hot temperatures of its micro-climate.

Surface Area: 1 ha

District: Cornas (Ardèche)

Varietal Blend: Syrah

Soils: Altered granite directly facing east

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of the healthy and well-ripened grapes.  Total de-stemming.  Cold maceration before fermentation.  Alcoholic fermentation at 35°C.  Maceration after fermentation at 30°C.  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  Cap punching three times a day, pumping over and release techniques allow for the good extraction of the aromas and the tannins.  Placed in barrels before malolactic fermentation, this wine blends gradually with the oak producing pleasant melted aromas.

Aging: 18 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  Barrels 50% new with oxygen added every 4 months.  Among all our northern Côtes du Rhône wines, this selection is produced from our most southern vineyard. It completes our range and offers a style that is very different and interesting.

Tasting Notes: The wines produced from the warm granite slopes of the Cornas appellation are well-structured with good aging potential.

2015 Reviews: “Opaque ruby. Ripe dark berry, licorice, olive and floral scents are lifted by a suggestion of smoky minerals. Broad and fleshy on the palate, offering sweet boysenberry and cherry liqueur flavors sharpened by a spicy cracked pepper note. Lingers with strong tenacity on the smoky finish, which is framed by dusty, slow-building tannins.”-91pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2013 Reviews:

“…Solid aromatics (ground herbs, gamey meat and plenty of fruit), medium to full-bodied richness and good acidity. It’s certainly high quality, possibly outstanding.”-90pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

“This sports a very lively herbal edge, showing savory, thyme and rosemary notes racing along with the core of bright red currant and bitter cherry fruit. The sleek, chalk-edged finish leaves a mouthwatering feel. Drink now through 2025. 271 cases made.”-92pts, James Moleswoth, Wine Spectator

2012 Reviews:

“…the 2012 Cornas is outstanding…saddle leather, herbs, spice and sweet black cherry and black raspberry fruit profile.  Coming from the Chez Favier lieu-dit and 70-year-old vines, drink this medium to full-bodied, supple, balanced Cornas over the coming 7-8 years.”-90pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

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Cote Rotie

Côte-Rôtie

Terroir: Situated on slopes facing south/southeast of Ampuis, the vines are planted on various types of soil. Some of the parcels are situated on brown schist rich in iron oxide producing well-structured wines. The others are located on blond schist composed of alluvium and loess bringing about more supple and aromatic wines.

Surface Area: 5 ha

Districts: Ampuis (Rhône)

Varietal Blend: 90% Syrah, 10% Viognier

Soils: Blond and brown schist

Yields: 35hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of the healthy and well-ripened grapes.
Total destemming. Cold maceration before fermentation, alcoholic fermentation at 35°C.  Maceration following fermentation at 30°C.  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  The winemaking is carried out according to traditonal Côte-Rôtie techniques.  Cap-punching, pumping over and release techniques help to thoroughly extract the strong aromas and the tannins associated with Côte-Rôtie wines.

Aging: 18 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  Barrels: 50 % new with oxygen added every 4 months.  Each parcel is vinified separately to obtain different wines expressing their own special character.  These wines are then blended to obtain a better balance between the strength and the elegance of these terroirs.

Tasting Notes: Fruity, fleshy and refined.  This wine expresses diversity and all of the estate’s terroirs blended together.  A small percentage of Viognier brings about additional aromatic complexity, as well as fat, coating the Syrah’s tannins.

Cellaring Potential: This wine distinguishes itself in its youth, but also after 10 to 15 years aging.

2015 Reviews: “Deep lurid ruby. Mineral-accented aromas of ripe dark berries and pungent flowers, joined by a spicy nuance that builds in the background. Smooth and expansive on the palate, offering appealingly sweet blackberry and violet pastille flavors and a touch of smokiness. Puts on weight with air while maintaining vivacity and focus. Finishes bright, supple and long, displaying very good clarity, well-knit tannins and building spiciness.”-92pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2013 Reviews:

“Dark purple. Fresh and lively on the nose, displaying scents of red and dark berries, candied violet and smoky minerals. Vibrant and precise on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors complemented by a suggestion of peppery spices. Becomes sweeter and fleshier with air with no loss of energy, and finishes nervy and very long, the supple tannins adding shape and grip.”-91pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous 

“…lots of peach, violets and spring flower-like qualities blending nicely with sweet Syrah driven fruit.  Medium-bodied, upfront and ready to go, it’s no light weight and has enough concentration to evolve nicely through 2023.”-90pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

2012 Reviews: “Vivid purple. Deeply pitched dark berry and licorice aromas are enlivened by suggestions of pungent flowers and smoky minerals. Fleshy and seamless on the palate, with intense blackberry and bitter cherry flavors given a refreshingly spicy edge by a touch of cracked pepper. Closes smoky and long, with gentle tannins, lingering floral character and a touch of anise.”-92pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2011 Reviews: “The 2011 Cote Rotie, which also incorporates 10% Viognier, offers a classic, perfumed profile, with notions of rose petal, crushed rock, raspberry and spice. Medium-bodied, focused, pure and lively, drink it over the coming decade or more.”-89pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

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rose pourpre

Côte-Rôtie Rose Pourpre

Terroir: The parcel of Côte Rozier is located in an amphitheater facing south, with many dried stone walls restituting the warmth of the sun.  This special situation translates to a particularly hot micro-climate.

Surface Area: 0.8 ha

District: Ampuis (Rhône)

Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah

Soils: Brown schist, rich in iron oxide

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of the healthy and well-ripened grapes.  Total destemming.  Cold maceration before fermentation.  Alcoholic fermentation at 35°C.  Maceration after fermentation at 30°C.  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  Cap punching three times a day, pumping over and release techniques allow for the good extraction of the aromas and the tannins.  Placed in barrels before malolactic fermentation, this wine blends gradually with the oak producing pleasant melted aromas.

Aging: 18 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  Barrels 50% new with oxygen added every 4 months.  After the maturing, the best barrels are selected in view of obtaining the most subtle balance between the strength and the finesse of the terroir of Côte Rozier.

Cellaring Potential: It is best to keep this wine in the cellar for a minimum of 3 years.  It can be aged for up to 15 years.

2009 Reviews:

“More interesting is the 2009 Cote Rotie Rose Pourpre. Its dense ruby/purple color is followed by copious aromas of heady black raspberry fruit intermixed with licorice, incense and smoky oak. This flavorful, full-bodied, ripe 2009 should drink well for 10-15 years.”-92pts, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

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les gendrines

Cotes du Rhone Blanc Les Gendrines

Terroir: The vines are planted on fine granite-laden sandy hillsides, facing east, contrary to the parcels of Condrieu. This cooler exposition allows the berries of Viognier to develop good acidity, joined by richness and maturity brought about by the limited yield.

Surface Area: 1.5 ha

Districts: Chavanay, Malleval (Loire), Limony (Ardèche)

Varietal Blend: 100% Viognier

Soils: Fine soil composed of detrital granite

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of the healthy and well-ripened grapes.  Alcoholic fermentation in barrels, at a controlled temperature between 15-18°C. Malolactic fermentation in barrels. The fermentation in barrels enables the wine to fully express its aromatic potential. The limited use of new oak (a mere 10%) allows the Viognier to fully express its finesse and freshness, brought about by the granite from the northern part of the Rhône Valley.

Aging: 7 to 8 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers. 5% in new oak. Stirring on lees once a week. The stirring and the use of lees during the entire maturing period preserves the wines mineral characteristics all the while enriching the structure on the palate. This technique makes the wine more unctuous and creates roundness as well as volume.

Tasting Notes: Bright color typical of the variety. Floral nose with aromas of white flesh fruit. The mouth is full and finished with some minerality typical of the terroir. Ready to drink.

Serving Notes: Serve between 10- 12˚C. Pairs well with goat cheeses, pâtés, terrines, white meats, or simply as an aperitif.

2014 Reviews: “Intoxicating aroma of ripe peach and apricot and yellow plum. Then has a lovely apricot-kernel fresh bitterness but it is fresh not bitter. Terrific Vigonier that finishes cool and fresh and stony even though the aromas were so glorious.”-17pts, Julia Harding MW, Jancis Robinson

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Jeanne Gaillard Crozes Hermitage

Crozes-Hermitage

Date Planted: Early 1980s

Surface Area: 5 hectares

District: Pont de l’Isère (Drôme)

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah

Soils: Gravel, offering good drainage; the soil was deposited where the rivers Isère and Rhône converge and has excellent warmth absorption, resulting in the admiral expression of the Syrah grape variety.

Yield: 40hl/ha

Plantation Density: 5,000 vines/hectare

Average Age of Vines: 25 years old

Vinification: The wines are made in fiber or oak casks. Total destemming. Cold maceration with a rise in temperature up to 25°C. A post-fermentation maceration at 25°C, the duration of which is guided by tastings. Once the maturity is at its optimum, the grapes are quickly harvested, brought to the cellar in isotherm trucks and then sorted on tables. The wine is pumped over, cap punched and released a number of times to ensure the good extraction of the aromas and the tannins.

Maturation: 10-12 months in 20% new French oak

Tasting Notes: Lovely color, well-structured, deep and fruity. A muscular wine that maintains its finesse and fruitiness. Red berries and violet aromas followed by black fruit character and a hint of white pepper spice. Well-balanced with a long finish.

2012 Reviews: “…Another classic wine from this estate that has medium-bodied richness, lots of elegance, good acidity, and perfumed notes of olive, leather and ripe blacker styled fruits…I think it’s outstanding and would drink bottles over the coming 5-6 years.”-90pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

2011 Reviews: “Offers a plush feel, with smoky tea, bergamot, mulled plum and melted red licorice notes gliding through the suave finish, revealing a lingering mineral hint. Drink now through 2019.”-91pts, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

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St. Joseph Blanc

Saint-Joseph Blanc

Overview: Intensely fresh, complex and aromatic.  Made from Roussanne, cultivated on the upper part of Malleval and of Chavanay

Terroir: Saint-Joseph white wines are traditionally made from a blend of Roussanne et Marsanne.  Pierre Gaillard only uses Roussanne, as this variety produces wines with interesting complexity and good rich characteristics.  Harvested when fully-ripened from vineyards planted in the granite-laden soils situated north of the appellation, this wine expresses complexity and good mineral features including during hot years.

Surface Area: 2.3 ha

Districts: Chavanay, Malleval (Loire)

Varietal Blend: 100% Roussanne

Soils: Fine sand composed of detrital granite

Yield: 25 hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of healthy and well-ripened grapes.  Alcoholic fermentation in barrels.  Controlled temperatures (15-18°C).  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  The low yield reinforces the richness and the aromatic complexity of the Roussanne grape variety. The wine is protected from oxidation
to avoid heaviness and to bring out the terroir’s natural mineral characteristics.

Aging: 7 to 8 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  5% in new barrels.  The wines are matured and stirred on lees once a week during the entire period to preserve their mineral characteristics all the while enriching their structure on the palate.

Cellaring Potential: Can be consumed in its youth, however will also age very well and harmoniously for 5 to 6 years.

2014 Reviews:

16pts, Jancis Robinson

“This is creamy in feel, with mango, papaya and glazed peach notes that glide through languidly, backed by orange curd and piecrust notes on the finish. A hedonistic style. Drink now. 1,692 cases made.”-90pts, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

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St.Joseph Rouge

Saint-Joseph Rouge

Overview: Fruity, fleshy, elegant.  This blend, made from all of the estate’s parcels (as well as some out-sourced grapes), expresses the diversity offered by the terroir.

Terroir: From the north of the appellation, this Saint-Joseph is a blend of wines from vines situated on slopes facing east and southeast.  Most of the grapes come from the estate.  The rest is bought from other growers, however the wine is made and matured at the property.

Surface Area: 7 ha

District: Chavanay, Malleval (Loire)

Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah

Soils: Altered granite

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification: Hand-picked harvest, strict sorting of healthy and well ripened grapes.  Total destemming.  Before fermentation, a cold maceration for 5 to 6 days and a fairly warm alcoholic fermentation.  Cap punching and pumping over three times a day. Following the fermentation, a hot maceration for around 3 weeks of the wine on marc, guided by tastings.  Traditional winemaking.  In light of this fairly extractive method, the harvest is destemmed beforehand, in order for the wine to remain elegant.

Aging: 18 months in oak barrels from Allier and Nevers.  Fairly recent oak barrels and 15% to 20% new oak.  Malolactic fermentation in oak followed by racking. The aging in oak continues until bottling with the use of oxygen every 4 months.

2013 Reviews:

“Opaque ruby. Spice- and smoke-tinged black and blue fruits on the fragrant nose. At once rich and energetic, offering juicy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of olive paste. Silky tannins firm the lingering finish, which conveys building spiciness and a refreshing suggestion of bitter berry skin.”-90pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2012 Reviews:

“Bright ruby. Red berries, cracked pepper, olive and violet on the perfumed nose and palate. Silky and appealingly sweet, with a fine-grained texture that reminded me of pinot noir. Shows no rough edges and finishes clean, nervy and long, with a subtle floral quality lingering. This is already drinking well.”-90pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

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Cuminaille

Saint-Joseph Clos de Cuminaille

Overview: Fresh and strong.  Made from the granite slopes of an ancient winemaking estate dating back to the Roman era.

Terroir: The first hillside of Clos de Cuminaille was cleared and planted in 1981. With its fine granite sandy slopes offering good drainage, this estate currently offers an exceptional environment allowing the Syrah grape variety to fully express itself.  As a result the winemakers have decided to pay tribute to this terroir by creating a single wine.

Surface Area: 3 ha

District: Chavanay (Loire)

Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah

Soils: Altered granite facing east

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of the most healthy and well-ripened grapes.  Total destemming. Cold maceration before fermentation, alcoholic fermentation at 35°C.  Maceration at 30°C after fermentation.  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  The fermenting must is cap-punched three times a day and pumped over at least once a day. These techniques ensure the good extraction of tannins and aromatic substances. The malolactic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels.  As a result the wine is rich and concentrated.

Aging: 18 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  Barrels: 40% new oak with oxygenation every 4 months.  The expression of the terroir is guaranteed by the oak aging which allows the aromas to expressive themselves for 18 to 20 months.  The slopes of this hillside face east and are at once under the influence of the north and the south.  This situation has produced a wine with great aging potential, but also very good freshness.

2015 Reviews: “Bright violet. Mineral-accented cherry, dark berry and violet scents are complicated by hints of olive, cracked pepper and licorice. Seamless and broad on the palate, offering juicy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter and livelier with air. A subtle floral pastille note appears on the clinging finish, which shows good delineation and harmonious tannins.”-91pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2014 Reviews: “Inky ruby. Heady, smoke- and spice-tinged blueberry, cherry and violet aromas show very good clarity and a suggestion of olive. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering concentrated dark fruit and floral pastille flavors plus a suggestion of candied licorice. The long, appealingly sweet finish features bright minerally lift, an echo of blue fruit and fine-grained tannins that sneak in late.”-90pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2013 Reviews:

16.5pts, Jancis Robinson

“The smaller production 2013 Saint Joseph Clos de Cuminaille should be a step up over the traditional cuvee. It has rock-solid notes of black raspberry, crushed rocks, wild herbs and olive, as well as good underlying minerality. Medium-bodied, balanced, with good purity and an elegant feel, it should have 7-8 years of longevity, possibly more.”-89pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

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Les Pierres

Saint-Joseph Les Pierres

Overview: Refined and aromatic.  Elaborated from the best wines in the cellar, following several selections.

Terroir: Les Pierres is the fruit of a double selection.  As of the harvest, all of the terroirs are separated.  The best harvests produced at Clos de Cuminaille but also at Côte Belley and Limony are identified and matured in new barrels.  As a result, this wine is derived from well-exposed hillsides, composed of granite with fine soil offering good drainage and conditions allowing the Syrah grape variety to fully express its characteristics.

Surface Area: 1.5 ha

Districts: Chavanay, Malleval (Loire), Limony (Ardèche)

Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah

Soils: Altered granite

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification: Annual harvest, selective sorting of healthy and well-ripened grapes. Total destemming.  Cold maceration before fermentation, alcoholic fermentation at 35°C.  Maceration at 30°C after fermentation.  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  Cap punching three times a day, as well as pumping over and release techniques skilfully extracting aromas and tannins.  Placed in barrels before the malolactic fermentation, the wine combines well with oak, producing pleasant melted aromas.

Aging: 18 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  100% new oak barrels with racking every three months.  In March, when the wine is blended, only 20-25% of the barrels expressing the most aromatic complexity will become Les Pierres.   This special elegance will entirely come to the fore after 10 years aging.

Tasting Notes: Savory with silty, polished berries and plum skins–ripe and sweet, this is bright and taut and yet supple and inviting. Balanced, with a crescendo of fruit and then spice.

2015 Reviews: “Opaque ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, potpourri and smoky minerals, backed by an earthy olive note. Rich, palate-staining black and blue fruit and violet pastille flavors are complicated by building spice and mineral notes that expand with air. Closes on a youthfully tannic note, showing excellent clarity and mineral-driven persistence and leaving a sweet dark berry note behind.”-92pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2012 Reviews: “…classic Northern Rhone fruit, spice and game on the nose, with no apparent oak. Medium+-bodied, with a pretty, fresh style, it too should drink nicely over the coming 7-8 years.”-90pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

2011 Reviews: “Showing more richness and depth, the 2011 Saint Joseph Les Pierres is a beauty! Exhibiting impressive aromas of chocolate-laced black raspberries, charcuterie, and violets, it flows onto the palate with medium-bodied richness, excellent overall balance and good length.”-89pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

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La Derniere Vigne

La Dernière Vigne Syrah

Location: 20 km south of Myon, in Ternay, an old medieval typically Rhône-style village. Some parcels of vines belonging to Domaine Pierre Gaillard bear witness to its winegrowing past.

Terroir: Planted on an ice-age moraine facing southwest, the vines of Ternay benefit from a soil made up of big smooth pebbles, resting on a clay base.  As these soils are capable of absorbing the warmth of a particularly hot climate, they help the grapes reach full maturity.  Planted in 1975, they produce grapes offering good concentration, characteristic of the strength offered by the Syrah grape variety.

Surface Area: 0.5 ha

Varietal Blend: 100% Syrah

Soils: Smooth pebbles on clay

Yield: 35 hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest, sorting of the healthy and well-ripened grapes.  Total destemming.  Cold maceration before fermentation.  Alcoholic fermention at 25°C.  Maceration after fermentation at 25°C.  Cap pumping three times daily, high fermentation temperatures, and a long hot maceration allowing for the perfect extraction of well-ripened grapes with tight and refined tannins.

Aging: 12 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  Barrels: 50% new with racking every 4 months.  The solid structure of this vins de pays is highlighted by careful maturing in barrels.  Its character is typical of the Syrah vines in the northern part of the Rhone Valley.

Tasting Notes: Deep purplish red in color.  An exuberant red, full, with superb length and robust tannins.  Dominant notes of pepper, sweet spices, and dark fruit.


Condrieu

Condrieu

Terroir: The granite terraces of the parcels of Côte Bellay and Boissey facing directly south offer a terroir producing rich Viognier grapes with noble rot (Botrytis).  Ideal autumn conditions favor the development of noble rot: variations in temperature between the day and the nighttime, morning fog due to the close proximity of the Rhone and afternoon sunshine.

Surface Area: 0.5 ha

Districts: Chavanay, Malleval (Loire)

Varietal Blend: 100% Viognier

Soils: Fine sand composed of detrital granite

Yield: 30 hl/ha

Vinification: Four handpicked harvests, sorting of the botrytized grapes.  Alcoholic fermentation in barrels at a controlled temperature of 15-18°C.  The botrytized grapes are harvested on a regular basis, every fortnight from October through to December.  Part of the healthy grapes are used in make this late harvest in view of conserving the typical characteristics of the Viognier grape variety.  As a result, a subtle mix of botrytized aromas are combined with the fruity and floral aromas of Viognier.  The over ripening of the grapes produces acidity balancing out their strong concentration in sugar.

Aging: 6 months in fine oak from Allier and Nevers.  5% new oak barrels.  200 g/l of residual sugar.  The lees are preserved during the maturing phase.  They are suspended by regular stirring, thereby refining the fleshy and unctuous characteristics of the Viognier from this terroir.

2016 Reviews: “Ripe, with nectarine, tangerine and peach flavors pumping along, lined with bitter almond and orange notes that lend tension and drive through the finish. Drink now through 2019.”-93pts, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

2015 Reviews:

“Features an unctuous backdrop to the peach, bitter almond and anise flavors, but remains energetic and bright overall, with honeysuckle and mirabelle plum notes providing lift throughout. Drink now through 2019. 1,300 cases made.”-93pts, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

93pts, Robert Parker

2014 Reviews:

16pts, Jancis Robinson

“Light, green-tinged gold. Fresh peach, tangerine and melon on the deeply perfumed nose, joined by a slowly emerging hint of candied lemon zest. Round and open-knit, offering subtly sweet, concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors and a touch of honeysuckle. The melon and floral notes repeat strongly on the persistent finish, which shows very good energy and lift.”-90pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous 

2011 Reviews: “Pale yellow. Highly perfumed aromas and flavors of candied orchard and citrus fruits, with floral and spice flourishes and a hint of smoky minerals. Suave and rich without excess fat. Sappy and precise, with impressive finishing cut and length. According to Gaillard, ‘Malleval gives the minerality and Chavanay gives the fruit and the flesh.'”-91pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

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l'octroi

Condrieu L’Octroi

Overview: Fruity, elegant and mineral.  This wine is elaborated from a selection of parcels planted a dozen years ago, on the rocky and mineral slopes of the Malleval Gorges.

Terroir: Following the plantation of the vines, the soil was ploughed-with a winch in certain areas.  As a result, the roots make their way down to the heart of the terroir and benefit from its mineral characteristics.

Surface Area: 1 ha

Varietal Blend: 100% Viognier

Soils: Fine sand made up of detrital granite facing directly south

Yield: 30 hl/ha

Vinification: Handpicked harvest of well-ripened grapes.  Alcoholic fermentation in barrels, controlled temperature between 15 and 18°C.  Malolactic fermentation in barrels.  Viognier produces rich and aromatic wines. This product is fermented in barrels thereby offering just the right oxygenation to highlight its aromas, all the while avoiding heaviness. The mineral characteristics of the terroir come to the fore, bringing out a sensation of freshness.

Aging: 7 to 8 months in fine grain oak barrels (Allier and Nevers).  5% at the most in new oak.  Stirring on lees once a week.  The wines are matured and stirred on lees during the entire maturing period in view of preserving their mineral notes, all the while enriching their structure on the palate.

Tasting Notes: Tropical fruit and flower aromas: lychees, white peaches, and violets; lovely minerality and freshness.

2012 Reviews: “On the tropical side, offering papaya, melon and mango notes. This late-release is still fresh, with honeysuckle, star fruit and orange blossom details filling in on the lively finish. Drink now through 2019. 246 cases made.”-93pts, James Molesworth, Wine Spectator

2011 Reviews: “Light yellow. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes lemon curd, poached pear, truffle and iodine, with a bright mineral overtone. Juicy, penetrating and deeply pitched orchard and pit fruit flavors show power and focus, with a nervy mineral quality adding lift and spine. Becomes richer with air, picking up a honeydew note that carries through the long, clinging finish.”-92pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

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Saint Peray

Saint-Péray Blanc

Varietal Blend: 50% Marsanne, 50% Roussanne from vines planted in the late 1990s to mid 2000s

Surface Area: This wine is made from purchased crop from various plots on 2 ha

Terroir: Granite and limestone hills

Vinification: Fermented, raised for 3-6 years, aged in 228-liter oak casks 6-8 months, malolactic fermentation completed

Yield: 5,000-9,000 bottles

Food Pairings: Perfect with big meals including fatty fish

2014 Reviews:

“Light, bright yellow. Mineral-accented aromas of fresh lemon and pear slowly take on a suggestion of honeydew. Juicy and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle; lively orchard fruit and candied ginger flavors are given spine by zesty acidity. The gingery note carries strongly through a long, incisive finish, which leaves behind a chalky mineral note.”-90pts, Josh Raynolds, Vinous

2014 Reviews: 16pts, Jancis Robinson

2013 Reviews:

16pts, Jancis Robinson

“The 2013 Saint Péray is a blend of equal parts Marsanne and Roussanne that was brought up all in barrel, 5% being new. Exhibiting lots of white peach, citrus blossom and mint, it’s medium-bodied, racy, vibrant and focused on the palate.”-89pts, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate