Domaine des Bosquets, Gigondas Cuvée Le Lieu Dit, 2014

Domaine des Bosquets, Gigondas Cuvée Le Lieu Dit, 2014

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    Grenache 100%

A ruby-purple colour. A fresh and expressive nose of small red berries, morello cherry, cherry, liquorice, sweet plum and kirsch. Tannins of great finesse and freshness, all the typicity of sandy terroir.

Long aging potential of up to two decades. Tiny yields of around 12 HL/ha.

A lesser known detail...

The parcel for Cuvée Le Lieu Dit sits sheltered by the surrounding hills on sandy soil, facing north-west. The area has its own cooler microclimate.

About Domaine des Bosquets

Records dating since 1376, indicate the existence of "vinea culta" at the lieu-dit "Les Bosquets" in Gigondas. It is in this precise spot that Jean de Riviere, Lord of Laval, built Domaine des Bosquets in 1644. It comprised a tower alongside a vast Provencial farmhouse overlooking the Rhône Valley. Several iconic personalities are known to have stayed here.

Eugène Raspail is at the origin of the development of the estate and Gigondas from 1861. Born in Gigondas in 1812, he became a Lawyer and a vigneron later in life. He was a strong believer in the new Republic and was elected Deputy of the Vaucluse for a while. After a tumultuous life, he returned to Gigondas after having spent a few years in exile in Italy. He inherited an estate from his father and also purchased the Domaine des Bosquets with its 37 ha. He planted a further 9 hectares the following year and another 26 ha the following years. By 1864, his wine business had become so important that even Napoleon III approved a reward for his work. He was also dedicated to his passion of archaeology and geology making him the first person to note in detail the geological complexity of Gigondas. Unfortunately all his efforts were decimated with the arrival of the phylloxera in the 1870s. He returned to politics until 1881 and retired and passed away in Gigondas in 1888. One of his biographers, Robert Bailly, noted: "Eugène Raspail had given an intelligent and necessary impulse to improve yields and especially bring a greater awareness of the wines of Gigondas. May be - but surely - thanks to his dynamic action the commune was able to obtain the appellation Gigondas".

A century later, it is another visionary, Gabriel Meffre, who takes the reins of the Domaine and gives it back all its nobility. In 1930, he bought his first vines in Gigondas and in 1936 became a Négociant-Eleveur (winegrower-négociant). He invested in vineyards in the Rhone Valley and Provence until the beginning of the 1980's. With 800 hectares of vines purchased, he became the biggest owner of AOC vines in France. Over the years his acquisitions included Château de Vaudieu in Châteauneuf du Pape, Domaine des Bosquets and Château de la Coulerette in Provence, just to name a few. In 1987 he passed away and these three estates were inherited by his daughter Sylvette Bréchet who took over the destiny of the Domaines. Under her leadership, her son Laurent Bréchet, joined her in the development of Domaine des Bosquets by building a completely new cellar shaped as a circular Provencial Chapel, improving the winemaking process by gravity and also building an underground ageing cellar.

In 2006, it is her other son Julien who takes over the management of the estate with a great determination to further improve the quality with the oenologist consultant Philippe Cambie. Laurent is now concentrating his efforts on managing the family's main estate Château de Vaudieu in Châteauneuf du Pape. The Bréchet family has now been making wines in Gigondas for over 5 generations.

Grape variety

Grenache or Garnacha is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, where the grape most likely originated. It is also grown in the Italian isle of Sardinia, the south of France, Australia, and California's Monterey AVA and San Joaquin Valley.

It is generally spicy, berry-flavoured and soft on the palate and produces wine with a relatively high alcohol content, but it needs careful control of yields for best results. Characteristic flavour profiles on Grenache include red fruit flavours (raspberry and strawberry) with a subtle, white pepper spice note. Grenache wines are highly prone to oxidation, with even young examples having the potential to show browning (or "bricking") coloration that can be noticed around the rim when evaluating the wine at an angle in the glass. As Grenache ages the wines tend to take on more leather and tar flavours. Wines made from Grenache tend to lack acid, tannin and colour, and it is often blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan, Tempranillo, and Cinsaut.

In Spain, there are mono-varietal wines made of Garnacha tinta (red Grenache), notably in the southern Aragon wine regions of Calatayud, Carinena and Campo de Borja, but it is also used in blends, as in some Rioja wines with tempranillo. Grenache is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhône wines, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where it is typically over 80% of the blend. In Australia it is typically blended in "GSM" blends with Syrah (commonly known as Shiraz in that country) and Mourvèdre with old vine examples in McLaren Vale. In Italy, the Sardinian D.O.C. wine Cannonau di Sardegna is by law 90% local Grenache (Cannonau). Grenache is also used to make rosé wines in France and Spain, notably those of the Tavel district in the Côtes du Rhône and those of the Navarra region. And the high sugar levels of Grenache have led to extensive use in fortified wines, including the red vins doux naturels of Roussillon such as Banyuls, and as the basis of most Australian fortified wine.

Grenache is often used as a blending component, adding body and sweet fruitiness to a wine. The grape can be troublesome for the winemaker due to tendency to oxidize easily and lose colour. To compensate for the grape's naturally low tannins and phenolic compounds, some producers will use excessively harsh pressing and hot fermentation with stems to extract the maximal amount of colour and phenols from the skins. This can backfire to produce green, herbaceous flavours and coarse, astringent wine lacking the grape's characteristic vibrant fruitiness. To maintain those character traits, Grenache responds best to a long, slow fermentation at cooler temperatures followed by a maceration period. To curb against oxidation, the wine should be racked as little as possible. The use of new oak barrels can help with retaining colour and preventing oxidation but too much oak influence can cover up the fruitiness of Grenache.

The high levels of sugars and lack of harsh tannins, makes Grenache well adapted to the production of fortified wines, such as the vin doux naturels (VDN) of the Roussillon region and the "port-style" wines of Australia. In these wines, the must ferments for three days before grape spirit is added to the must to halt the fermentation and the conversion of sugar into alcohol. The high alcoholic proof grape spirit brings the finished wine up to 15–16% alcohol. These wines can be made in a rancio style by being left outside in glass demi-johns (or carboys) or wooden barrels where the wine bakes in the sun for several years until it develops a maderized character and flavours of sour raisins, nuts and cheese. These fortified VDNs and port-style wines have longevity and can be drinkable well into their third decade.

Alternative Names: Alicante, Cannonau, Garnacha, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa, Granaccia, Grenache Noir, Lladoner, Tinto Aragones, Tocai Rosso

About Gigondas

Gigondas is a village in the southern Rhône valley and an appellation for red and rosé wines. Both colours are made from up to 80 percent Grenache (according to the appellation laws), with at least 15 percent comprised of Syrah and Mourvèdre. Any Gigondas wine may have a maximum of 10 percent of any variety sanctioned by the standard red Côtes du Rhône appellation laws, with the exception of Carignan.

The resulting style of wine made under the appellation is often likened to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just 17 kilometres (10 miles) to the southwest. Red wines are typically bold, forward, ripe and relatively high in alcohol – in fact, the appellation laws require a minimum alcohol level of 12.5 percent, one of the highest stipulated for French red wine. The best examples can certainly match many bottlings from its more famous neighbour.

The quality measures taken in the creation of Gigondas' wines include the mandatory selection of healthy grapes over imperfect grapes, known in French as triage. Maximum yield is set at 36 hectolitres per hectare, only 1hl more than Châteauneuf-du-Pape (385 vs 374 US gallons per acre).

The appellation occupies an area covering the base and slopes of the first Dentelles de Montmirail foothills. The villages of Beaumes-de-Venise and Vacqueyras are located to the south and west of Gigondas respectively and enjoy very similar growing conditions. The terroir here is characterized by a hot, dry Mediterranean climate and by the combination of limestone soils (on the Montmirail slopes to the east) and rocky, sandy, free-draining soils (on the flatter, lower-lying land to the north and west).

Regular price $168.00

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