Saturated ruby. Intense red and blue fruit aromas, along with suggestions of star anise, lavender and white pepper. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering sappy, focused black raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Smoothly combines power and finesse and shows no rough edges. Fine-grained tannins sneak in late on the long, juicy finish, which leaves behind a suave floral pastille note. Rating: 91-93 Josh Raynolds, www.vinousmedia.com (Sep 2017)
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The classic 2015 Gigondas Tradition checks in as a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah that’s from higher elevation parcels and clay and limestone soils. Partially destemmed and aged in a mix of tank and foudre, this medium-bodied barrel sample offers lots of cedary spice, dried flowers and black raspberry fruits in a structured, even tannic style that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring. 'This is a true mountain domaine and the majority of the Gigondas vines lie high up on the slopes of the Dentelles, in the region known as Col du Cayron, at roughly 400-500 meters in elevation. This is cooler, rocky and limestone-based terroir. These are classic, textbook Gigondas that show the complex spice and garrigue aromatics that are common from these cooler terroirs, as well as solid concentration and texture.' Rating: 89-91 Jeb Dunnuck - www.robertparker.com(Dec 2016)
70% Grenache, 30% Syrah. 54% destemmed. 65% matured in foudres, 35% in tank. Cask sample. Tasted blind. As with La Bouïssière Font de Tonin (tasted alongside), there’s a slight stewed-fruit sensation initially but this grows into something delightfully funky and ethereal. Really powerful but has lift-off. Such a combination! Drinking range: 2021 - 2030 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com(Oct 2016)
Domaine la Bouïssière
Thierry and Gilles Faravel's Domaine la Bouïssière in Gigondas is exceptional in many ways, but perhaps apart from the personality of Thierry himself, it is the site of the vineyard, high up under the 'Dentelles de Montmirail' which makes the defining difference.
In contrast to the vines being baked on the plains of stones at the foot of the hill, the Bouïssière vines benefit from cooling air at night falling from the high peaks, and the wines retain a freshness and subtle persistence which is very different to the sometimes bludgeoning broadness and alcoholic heat of the wines on the plain.
Gilles and Thierry Faravel employ non-interventionalist practices to make wines as naturally as possible, resulting in wines of immense concentration and depth, with true vibrancy and the capacity to age ten to fifteen years.
They've come back to 80% whole bunch fermentation - as Thierry says, it's their form of acidity, it gives the wines more energy and tension, and stops them getting too heavy. Thierry describes the 2015s as being more massive, while the 2016s are 'more gourmand', and certainly these seem very easy to enjoy, fresh and balanced despite being quite powerful.
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