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Two Lovely Wines from Domaine Gramenon


Last week I received a precise text from a friend with respect to the Domaine Gramenon, Poignee de Riasons.  It read “Yummy. Almost viscous.” This motivated me to open the two Domaine Gramenon bottles I had just purchased.  Domaine Gramenon originates back in 1978 when Philippe Laurent and Michele Aubery-Laurent purchased 12 hectares of vines and an old barn in 1978.  This original part of the domaine is located at 300 meters on limestone.  Over the years the domaine expanded to 25 hectares by planting more vines, purchasing 4.5 hetares of plots in Vinsobres, and land in Valreas.  Today the estate is run by Michele and one of her children, Maxime-Francois.  The estate is certified organic and is farmed in a bio-organic manner.  The fruit is fermented without sulphur using indigenous yeasts.  Everything is moved by gravity, there are no pumps.  Some cuvees are aged in vat and others in old demi-muids and foudres.  The wine is bottled without fining or filtration with only some cuvees receiving light amounts of sulphur.

Vineyard, Image from Domaine Gramenon

This was a lovely pair of wines to taste and drink.  Poignee de Raisins, fistful of grapes, alludes to the nature of this minimally handled wine. Though made from the youngest fruit this is quite a serious wine.  I would not necessarily cellar this wine, instead I would give it two or three hours of air before drinking.  I really enjoyed this bottle and started to give serious thought to a Very Good rating.  But then there was nothing left of the bottle to taste!  This bottle of Les Laurentides was almost shutdown.  Opened as the same time as the Poignee de Raisins it markedly gave up less on the first night.  It was not too interesting so I retasted it on the second night. It became quite interesting, finally revealing all of the goodies lurking inside which are waiting for cellar age.  I would buy both of these wines but if you can only afford one bottle then grab the Poignee de Raisins to drink this week.  These wines are currently available at MacArthur Beverages.

Note, we drank another bottle of the Poignee de Raisins in July and it showed brilliantly.  Easily ****.

2011 Domaine Gramenon, Poignee de Raisins, Cotes du Rhone – $23
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is mostly Grenache with some Cinsault sourced from the domaine’s youngest vines being 5-30 year old.  The soils are of clay limestone.  The grapes are partially destemmed and both fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for six months in cement tanks.  There is a medium-strength nose of ripe fruit with grapey highlights but it is not overdone.  The nose is evocative of lean strength.  In the mouth the grapey, blue and black fruit coats the mouth leaving a lively gravelly quality on the tongue.  There are sweet, textured spices, and iron-like minerality.  Over several hours the wine fills out nicely with a good mouth feel, weight, and gentle density.  ***/**** Now-2014.

2009 Domaine Gramenon, Cuvee Les Laurentides, Cotes du Rhone Villages – $27
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is mostly Grenache sourced from 50 year old vines on the La Bicarelle plot in Vinsobres.  The soils are of clay limestone with rounded pebbles.  The grapes were partially destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for eight months in oak barrels.  This is a medium ruby, blood color.  There is a light, low nose.  In the mouth there is a ripe and tight perfumed core of fruit.  The ripe sweet spices and ripe tannins coat the lips but in a very appropriate amount.  There are plenty of ripe red and blue fruit in the finish where there is a stoney note with a touch of cedar.  With air a slightly maturing note takes place.  This was much better on the second night, definitely for the cellar.  ***(*) 2015-2022.

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