This is a backward brute, with a wall of roasted bay leaf, cedar, alder and juniper guarding the core of black currant, fig, prune and plum notes. Heady and dense, but there's plenty of cut on the finish, with a grounding rod of charcoal and singed iron keeping everything upright and focused. Best from 2015 through 2032. 708 cases made. (JM)
Composed of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, the 2010 Gigondas Valbelle saw some small new oak barrels during its upbringing. There are about 700 cases of this cuvee compared to the 3,400 cases of the classic Gigondas. One of the vintage’s most profound wines, the 2010 Valbelle exhibits an opaque purple color along with copious notes of black raspberries, creme de cassis, incense, forest floor, spring flowers and subtle underbrush and earthiness. There may even be a hint of black truffles in this complex, full-bodied, massively endowed Gigondas. Neither heavy nor ponderous, it is a brilliant example that should drink nicely for 15 years. (RP)
Vivid ruby. Heady, spice- and floral-accented aromas of candied dark berries and cherry, with a bright mineral overtone. Rich but energetic on the palate, offering sappy blackberry and cherry-cola flavors that show excellent clarity and lift. Fine-grained tannins give shape and grip to a long, smooth, penetrating finish. (JR)
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