The 2015 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes offers the most finesse and elegance of the three cuvees, and is slightly less exotic, yet more refined and pretty. Offering lots of strawberry and framboise fruits, loads of cedary spice, full-bodied richness and building, polished tannin, this terrific wine shines for its purity and finesse. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.
Dark ruby. Aromas and flavors of ripe red and blue fruits pick up floral and peppery spice nuances as the wine opens up. Smooth and expansive on the palate, showing very good depth as well as energy and spicy back-end lift. The gently gripping, very persistent finish leaves behind hints of candied flowers and licorice. (JR)
A bit foursquare compared to the other cuvées, the 2015 Gigondas Classique Vieilles Vignes is nevertheless a solid example of its terroir. A full-bodied blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre aged only in foudres, it offers black cherry fruit, ample weight on the palate and some licorice and drying tannins on the finish. At Domaine Saint Damien, there are four Gigondas cuvées, although the Clovis Saurel isn't bottled every year. It's a small, family domaine with the magnificently mustachioed Joël Saurel at the helm, although son Romain is increasingly confident in the winery. This is a reference point for traditional Gigondas, but the family also owns a small portion of Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu. We finished up with a handful of older wines, which I noted for readers who may have cellared them.(JC)
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