Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2007 St Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades

Certainly the best Gigondas I can recall tasting, drunk on 1/9/12 at FriSatSun, one of Emily's favorite restaurants near her apt in Philadelphia--our going away dinner the night before leaving for Spain. I was amazed to find that this wine is almost unobtainable in the US or even Europe, perhaps a measure of Parker's clout. Anyway, it has a heavenly spicy vanilla strawberry, blackberry scent. It's soft on the palate but with sufficient tannin to last. I wouldn't put it at 97 points but think 94 is merited, and that's a much higher score than most Gigondas wines, which come from the area northeast of Chateauneuf du Pape which generally produces better wine. But Gigondas is a charming town too.

Parker gives this 97 points. The inky/purple-tinged, multidimensional 2007 Gigondas Les Souteyrades may be even better. Composed of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre cropped at 25 hectoliters per hectare, from 60-year-old vines, it boasts a blueberry, blackberry, charcoal, licorice, truffle, scorched earth, and spring flower-scented perfume, phenomenal purity, and a long finish. This blockbuster Gigondas possesses extraordinary focus given the freshness and good acids provided by the vintage as well as incredibly well-integrated tannins.

I was blown away by how the 2007 Gigondas cuvees, which I had rated very highly from barrel last year, had put on weight and texture, and had become essentially as compelling as Gigondas can be. Clearly Saint-Damien’s young proprietor, Joel Saurel, has moved this estate alongside the appellation’s two superstars, Domaine Santa Duc and Chateau Saint-Cosme. The three cuvees of 2007 Gigondas are absolutely profound. I am not sure I haven’t underrated them as I had them on two separate occasions and the numerical scores listed are actually from the lower rated tasting. Come what may, these are unreal wines. For statisticians, these wines are aged 6-8 weeks in cement tanks before they are moved to old wood foudres for 12 months prior to being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

2010 Louis Jadot Pernand-Vergelesses

This is a really nice affordable white burgundy (Chardonnay). It combines the best elements of California chardonnay tropical fruit with the mineral nuance and subtlety of Bourgogne. And it kept nicely in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

2006 Finca Villacreses Ribera del Duero

Just want to note that this wine is a hedonistic joy, and it provided several days of drinkability. It's got spicy blackberry and other fruit flavors and aromas, and is just incredibly juicy and smooth. I suppose some might say it's not properly balanced with acid and tannin, but I think there's enough. Maybe this won't last for five years but right now and for a few more it's a real winner. In Spain you can get this for about $25 but can't find it listed anywhere in the US, unfortunately. Maybe some restaurants have it. 92 points.