Domaine Gramenon, La Sagesse 2018
Reveals stony notes mixed with spices and red and black fruit aromas. The palate is full and dense, offering fruit flavours and a long, powerful finish.
Origin: Montbrison-sur-Lez, Southern Rhône, France
Gramenon is a little unusual, in that it makes high-end wines from vineyards that bear no more than the lowly appellation of Côtes du Rhône. The domain was set up by Phillipe and Michelle Aubery-Laurent in 1990 and quickly made a reputation for its concentrated, complex wines from very ripe grapes, which come mainly from old vines. Phillipe died in an accident in 1999, but Michelle has continued with the domaine with the assistance of her son, Maxime.
Grenache is a Mediterranean red grape variety that is thought to originate from Spain (where it is known as Garnacha) but is also widely planted throughout France, Australia, and California. It is a key component of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and is generally widely planted throughout the Southern Rhône. Its flavourprofile varies accroding to origin and winemaking but generally has a wild red fruit, garrigue, and earthy complexity with moderate acidity, high alcohol, full body. Best examples tend to come from old-vines that offer more fruit concentration and longer finish.
The southern sub region of the Rhône Valley has a more Mediterranean climate with milder winters and hot summers. Drought can be a problem in the area, but limited irrigation is permitted. The differing terroirs, together with the rugged landscape which partly protects the valleys from the Mistral wind, produce microclimates which give rise to a wide diversity of wines. A feature of the cultivation of the region is the use of large pebbles around the bases of the vines to absorb the heat of the sun during the day to keep the vines warm at night when, due to the cloudless skies, there is often a significant drop in temperature.
Due to the higher altitude the vineyards here benefit from a cooler climate, with a longer ripening season. Three plots of land located in Gramenon, on the commune of Montbrison sur Lez: two parcels on the limestone plateau at 300 meters altitude and the third one on the sandier southern slope. The vineyard is planted with 50 to 70-year-old vines. Gobelet and Codron de Royat training methods used. The soil is mechanically worked in spring and summer; an additional manual hoeing is then done on some parcels of land. Only copper and sulphur are used to fight odium and mildew. Low yields (20 hl per hectare). • Manual harvest
• Manual harvest
• 15 days maceration in concrete tanks
• Partial de-stemming
• Natural yeasts
• Malolactic fermentation
• Aging: 12 month in oak barrels