2018 Domaine Saint-Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes
Domaine Saint-Damien is run by Joel and Amie Saurel whose family has been tending vineyards for four generations, dating back to 1821. Until relatively recently they sold all of their grapes to negociants. In 1998 they brought on consulting winemaker Philippe Cambie and haven’t looked back. Of the estates 42 acres of vineyards, 30 acres are in Gigondas with vines that have an average age of 50 years.
Totally opaque black dark red colour with a dark red hue. Leaping out of the glass are heady aromatics of black raspberry, liquorice and black cherry followed by notions of herbs du Provence, incense, subtle scorched earth and spicy pepper. Opulent, chewy and full bodied, the palate is layered with rich black raspberry, black cherry and liquorice fruits which sit over scorched earth, dried herbs, infusions of incense, leather and pepper. Ripe muscular tannins firm up the finish a touch. The aftertaste long, chewy and rich.
Drink over the next 4-5 years.
The base Gigondas, the 2018 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes is a blend from both the La Louisiane and Pigière lieux-dits near the estate (due to the dismal yields, there’s no Souteyrade cuvée in 2018) and is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah brought up in foudre. It has a wonderful flowery incense and blue fruit quality as well as medium to full body, a ripe, rounded mid-palate, and a great texture. It’s a more forward, charming, sexy wine that’s going to drink nicely in its youth yet also evolve gracefully.
Deep, glistening ruby. Expansive aromas of ripe red/blue fruits, potpourri and licorice are complemented by bright mineral and exotic spice nuances that emerge with air. Juicy, penetrating raspberry, bitter cherry and candied violet flavors become sweeter with aeration and show a surprisingly delicate touch. Velvety tannins lend subtle grip to an impressively long, spice-laced finish that emphatically echoes the red fruit and floral notes.
Josh Raynolds – Vinous