2019 Clos Derrière Vieille Domaine Santa Duc

Grapes Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre
Colour Red
Origin France, Rhône
Other Bio-dynamic, Certified Organic
District Southern Rhône
Village Gigondas
ABV 14.5%

2019 Gigondas Clos Derriere Vieille - tasted from tank in cellars July 2021 80% Grenache 10% Mourvedre 10% Syrah, mainly wholebunch, foudres and amphora. Much more depth on the nose, darker black fruits, slightly meaty (Mourvedre??) Ripe sweet raspberry fruit, black cherry with a pure floral acidity, generous tannin but soft, great elegance and will be a fabulous Gigondas in 8+ years. L&S (Oct 2021)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles of wine (or 9 litre equivalent) or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified (4.5 litres) to get the discounted 'case price' for each bottle.

Deep magenta. A deeply perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and blue fruits, incense and licorice; a floral nuance builds as the wine opens up. Sweet, concentrated raspberry, boysenberry, candied lavender and Moroccan spice flavors become livelier as the wine stretches out. It displays sharp definition and an emphatic, spicy cut on an impressively long, floral-driven finish shaped by supple, well-judged tannins. Drinking range: 2025 - 2035 Rating: 95 Josh Raynolds, (Jan 2023)

There's nice purity here, displaying a core of cassis and plum reduction notes coursing through, while light licorice, applewood and red tea hints run along the edges. Has a savory kick on the finish, with a subtle minerality lending length. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drinking range: 2023 - 2036 Rating: 94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Dec 2021)

80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah. Organic and biodynamic. 60% whole bunch. Aged in 80% Stockinger foudres, 20% terracotta jars. Tank sample. Tasted blind. Meaty nose with stewed mulberry and a subtle ashy (whole bunch?) note. Firm and fine tannins and a very subtle note of black pepper underneath the bright fruit. A little drying for now, but will develop nicely over time. Rating: 17+ Alistair Cooper MW - (Oct 2021)

Domaine Santa Duc

The name of Domaine Santa Duc has been at the pinnacle of wine in Gigondas since the mid 80’s when, under the firm guidance of the irrepressible and charismatic Yves Gras, they gained international recognition and high scores from wine critics. They have, for some time, been a reference point for quality and style, from one of the most consistently brilliant Crus in the Southern Rhone.

The future of the domaine is now in the very capable hands of Yves' son Benjamin, who becomes the 6th generation of the family to head up the estate. To borrow from Matt Walls ‘Yves Gras and his son Benjamin are very different characters. Yves has the air of a retired East End enforcer, but Benjamin is bookish and jovial’. It would appear from our recent tastings that the estate is in safe hands. Having a respectable CV that boasts stages at Domaine de la Romanée Conti and Vega Sicilia, and visits to nearly every wine producing country in the world, he brings fresh views and ideas, whilst respecting the traditions of his father's work and the past.

The entire 30-hectare estate is now biodynamically farmed and certified, with an emphasis on total respect for nature in the vineyard. They comprise a patchwork of prime vineyard sites in Gigondas totalling 13 hectares, including two brilliant lieux-dits, Les Hautes Garrigues & Clos Derriere Vieille, that bring out the very best expression of Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre. There is also 6 hectares of prized parcels in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, that have gained high praise in a short space of time. The balance is spread across Vacqueyras and Cotes du Rhone. Nearly all the vines are trained goblet, with a program of Massal selection ongoing to ensure healthy vines from older rootstocks.

The wine making philosophy, like so many now, is as little intervention as possible. Stainless steel fermentation, with a proportion of stems and a short maceration followed by ageing in a mixture of large foudres and terracotta amphorae. The wines are fresh, elegant, pure, dark fruited and long lived although approachable in their youth too. Be in no doubt, these are some of the best wines being made in the southern Rhone.

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