The 2007 Gigondas Tradition, a 3,000-case cuvee, is a big-time sleeper of the vintage and well-worth latching onto, since its availability is very good. Dense purple to the rim, with an exquisite nose of charcoal, blueberry and blackberry fruit, chalk, and floral notes, the wine is rich, full-bodied, with sensational concentration, admirable purity, and beautiful texture and length. The wine is still young and unevolved, but it is very accessible. The acids buttress the wine’s substance, and give it vibrancy and focus. Drink it over the next 10+ years. Yves Gras is one of the great personalities of the southern Rhone, and I always enjoy my visits with him. Aside from his passion and singular personality is his exceptional talent for winemaking and vineyard management. First, as I have indicated in the past, he has a small negociant operation. There are very few efforts in 2008 under the “Santa Duc Selection” moniker because of the challenging vintage; he did show me three wines. The estate wines in 2008 include only one cuvee of Gigondas, as there will be no Les Hautes Garrigues produced, or his new baby, the Grand Grenache 66. The three cuvees of 2007 are certainly the finest wines I have tasted from Yves Gras since I started visiting him in the mid-1980s.
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