2019 Les Hautes Garrigues Domaine Santa Duc

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

2019 Gigondas Les Haut Garrigues - tasted from tank in cellars July 2021 50% Mourvedre 50% Grenache from a single plot around the winery. Very bright, seductive nose, sweet raspberry and red cherry. Full of energy in the mouth, redcurrant, black cherry, lovely extraction here, lots of freshness too, elegant and precise, long long finish. A great Les Hautes Garrigues in the making. L&S (Oct 2021)

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Packed and ready for some cellaring, this offers a core of cassis and plum reduction notes wrapped in red and black licorice accents that carry through a tar-streaked finish, where light savory and mineral accents also play out. This just needs a little time to stretch out fully. Grenache and Mourvèdre. Drinking range: 2024 - 2038 Rating: 94 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Dec 2021)

50% Grenache, 50% Mourvèdre. Organic and biodynamic. 30% whole bunch. Aged in 80% Stockinger foudres, 20% terracotta jars. Tank sample. Tasted blind. Very bright high-toned, pure and sweet fragrant fruit. Very focused palate which is supported by extremely refined elegant and layered tannins and a dark-fruit spiced note. Excellent extraction which shows off the elegant fruit character. Bags of freshness keep this alive and kicking. Rating: 17.5+ 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 bring 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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