(80% grenache, 15% syrah and cinsault, and 5% clairette, from vines that were reportedly planted in the late 1940s): Deep ruby. Aromas of black raspberry, cassis and musky herbs. Ripe and smooth in texture but surprisingly lively, offering juicy dark fruit flavors and notes of spicecake and anise. Shows no rough edges on the sappy, spicy, very long finish. I also had the chance to retaste the 2008 Les Racines in December and it has fleshed out and gained sweetness over the past 12 months while retaining its nervy and precise character. It will age nicely over at least the mid-term on its balance; I note that I underestimated it last year. (JR)
Coming from 70-year-old vines on the more drought resistant lower slopes (where there is more clay in the soil) is the 2009 Gigondas Les Racines. Slightly better, with more color, this blend of 80% Grenache and the rest Cinsault and Syrah reveals more complexity in a savage, animal-like manner. Hints of mint, strawberry liqueur, tree bark, porcini mushrooms and kirsch emerge from this complex, concentrated Gigondas. Drink it over the next decade. (RP)
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