LVT 2016 r A tiny under one hectare vineyard, with no pesticides or insecticides used, wild yeasts only in the cellar. The style is for a fully freighted wine, with oak in the mix. The 2015 was a **** wine that requires leaving until 2020, the 2016 also a **** wine for leaving until 2021
LVT 2016 r Very small estate towards Sablet, authentic wines, on the up, the 2014 an STGT success. A recently added, robust Châteauneuf-du-Pape red as well.
LVT 2016 r 2017 wh 2007 rosé A very reliable address, with old vineyards for the Vacqueyras. The Vacqueyras Cuvée de l’Ermite red was a ***(*) STGT wine in 2014, and a ****(*) STGT wine in both 2015 and 2016 - some achievement, since all are tasted blind!
LVT 2016 r 2015 wh Exuberant wines, lots of oak, a very good merchant range mostly involving the northern Rhône under the Saint Cosme title, with some excellent wines a ****(*) 2015 Côte-Rôtie Le Traquet (pre-bottling), for example. There are very neat Côtes du Rhône reds and whites. The Gigondas range gives wines of genuine stature, that benefit from considerable cellar ageing. The estate wines are biodynamic.
LVT 2016 r 2015 wh 2015 rosé Big change of outlook, since this estate was bought by Jérome Quiot of Domaine du Vieux Lazaret at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The wines have always been quite modern; the Gigondas and more recently acquired 10 hectares of Vacqueyras are steady wines, with safety usually favoured over flair. However, the 2016 Gigondas red held concentrated Grenache juice, and was a **** wine in that high class vintage, the 2016 Vacqueyras red also a virile, bustling **** wine. There are sound Rasteau, Sablet and Plan de Dieu reds as well. The varietal white Côtes du Rhônes from Vigonier, Roussanne and Marsanne are all consistent and pretty true.
LVT 2016 r The culture-loving Christian is the son of the legendary Gabriel Meffre. He works in a quiet way and the wines are agreeably understated. I feel they have made progress in recent times, with his son François vinifying since 2002. 40-45% of Gigondas is sold in bulk.
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh 2016 rosé Organic farming here for many decades, with biodynamic practices also included. The red wines need time to integrate, are genuine, and contain very good fruit purity in the warmer years, but the tannins can be rather austere at first, so patient cellaring is rewarded. The 2015 Gigondas red was a most beautiful, en finesse ***** STGT wine, the 2016 Gigondas red another admirable ****(*) STGT wine, while the 2015 Vacqueyras La Font de Papier red was a ****(*) STGT wine, the 2014 also ****(*). When tasted in late 2017, the 2010 Gigondas Clos du Joncuas showed itself to be a ***** wine to track down, while the 2012 Gigondas Clos du Joncuas has been a ****(*) STGT wine when twice tasted, in Dec 2013 and Oct 2017. There is also good Séguret red and white from Domaine La Garancière as well.
LVT 2016 r 2016 rosé Greater use of oak than in the past, but the wines have good heart. Whole bunch fermentations. The 2015 special, oaked Gigondas Terresses des Dentelles was ****, while the Gigondas Tradition red was a ****(*) STGT wine in 2016, pre-bottling. There is also a superior Ventoux red.
LVT 2010 r Offshoot of Gabriel Meffre. Wines showing improvement
LVT 2011 wh 2008 r A singular domaine, out of a tale from the past. The wines are whole bunch fermented from low yields that rarely exceed 25 hl/ha, even in the Côtes du Rhône. The reds are raised for 4 to 5 years, so in late 2012 the working vintage was the 2006. There is a distinct feel of the hand-made here, but the wines would shock modernists. Part is sold in bulk when young. Most of the clientele is French. Conversion to organic has been officially under way since 2011, but insecticides haven’t been used since the late 1980s, for instance. Low yields are harvested across all their vineyards. The family's first vineyards were at Gigondas and Vacqueyras, with Frédéric Chastan a cousin of Dany Chastan of Clos du Joncuas.
LVT 2016 r 2014 rosé Another example of an improved Gigondas domaine, with more precise winemaking since the mid-2000s. The 2015 Gigondas Cuvée Boisée (oaked) was a ***(*) wine of some gusto, with oak obviously present, while 2015 Gigondas Traditionelle red was a concerted **** wine.
LVT 2016 r 2015 wh Solid Gigondas, Vacqueyras, with the Vacqueyras old vine Grenache Cuvée de l’Euse a really well charged red wine, made with whole bunches. The 2015 Gigondas Font des Aïeux red mirrored the 2005: both ****(*) wines, the 2015 full of energy and both of them bearing STGT virtues. The white Vacqueyras Cuvée Eva, based on the southern stalwarts of Clairette blanche and Grenache blanc, was a ***(*) STGT wine in 2015, great à table.
LVT 2016 r Part of the Gabriel Meffre empire since 1999, both Gigondas and Vacqueyras, and a good level of quality that runs between *** and ****(*) (the Vacqueyras 2014 was ****, the 2016 ****(*). The style is modern, with the vineyards around 40 years old now. The special Gigondas Hommage à Gabriel Meffre, 98% old Grenache, was a ****(*) wine in both 2013 and 2015, and a ***** wine in 2016. There is also a Plan de Dieu red, which was a superior STGT **** wine in 2014, and a ***(*) in 2015.
LVT 2009 r Modern style vinification, although concrete vat raising. Correct Gigondas here, especially if left to mature.
LVT 2016 r 2014 rosé In the same ownership as the Château de Vaudieu at Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Recent improvement, with richer wines, the crop later picked than in the past. Modern leaning under the keen guidance of Laurent Brechet`s motivated younger brother, Julien. There are now three Gigondas - the classic (which can therefore be a bit bare due to the other wines' existence), and the small production Le Lieu Dit . . . and La Colline. The Gigondas classic was **** in 2016, the Gigondas La Colline **** in both 2015 and 2016
LVT 2016 r The switched-on owner Philippe Cartoux is married to the also switched-on owner of Domaine de Montvac at Vacqueyras. There can be great fruit in the Côtes du Rhône. Vieilles Vignes Gigondas is good value, but the 2014 had a cork taint problem.
LVT 2016 r 2010 rosé A domaine accentuating elegance. Jérome Boudier has worked in large enterprises around the Southern Rhône, including Costières de Nimes, Laudun and the Cellier des Princes. His vineyards are at altitude near the Dentelles, and the first wines are rather promising. His parents are olive growers near Puyméras. His first vintage was 2006. Good new Côtes du Rhône red since 2009, note. Riasing has been extended since 2013, and the wines are showing increased depth.
LVT 2007 r STGT domaine, with Roger Cuillerat the classic man of the soil. The domaine was sold to the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel in early September, 2008.
LVT 2016 r Changing style here with the new generation. There were basil-dominated bouquets each year at first, perhaps due to the vats being redone in 2005, and I have to speculate that their coating may be the factor that made the wines very basil, also blackcurrant leaf, in nature. Some like this – I am not sure; however, the 2010 through to 2014 have all been four star wines, with the 2015 a fine STGT ****(*) wine, and the 2016 a storming, heart throbbing ****** STGT wine. Allez, les filles de Michel! I note production is now around 77,000 bottles, up from 52,000 bottles, with less wine sold in bulk. Wines from the 1980s and most of the 1990s were real long stayers, with the proviso of some bottle variation – see the 1988, for instance.
LVT 2016 r 2010 rosé Traditional, whole bunch fermentation. Gradually freshening style of wines. There are STGT wines here - both the ****(*) 2012 (also good VALUE) and the crystal clear **** 2015 Tradition red
LVT 2016 r Seems to be in transition, with whole bunch fermentation and a much reduced raising time on the Cuvée Cécile. Cécile Varenne married Jean-Yves Perez of Domaine de l'Obrieu at Visan in Sept 2009 - two promising growers getting together, c'est bien.
LVT 2013 r Experienced family, also have a merchant business. Robust, traditional leaning in the wines.
LVT 2016 r Benchmark, consistent quality Gigondas, with STGT leanings. The classic 1806 Gigondas was a **** STGT wine in 2015. There is also sound Vacqueyras red from a small vineyard.
LVT 2016 r Leading Gigondas. Vacqueyras is pretty good, too. STGT wines (both 2014 and 2013 at **** each, the 2016 at ****(*) - really genuine.
LVT 2016 r 2014 rosé Jean-Christian is a practising doctor of medicine, with his surgery at Mornas. The domaine was purchased in 1998, first wine produced in 1999. This is an address for those who love full-blooded, heart on their sleeve wines. No external yeasts, low use of sulphur in the cellar, crop hand harvested. Long raising. These are robust, sometimes fiery, wines that can take time - the Séguret Mont Bayon, notably, which is full of character, from a rocky limestone vineyard at 450 to 480 metres. Both the 2015 and 2016 Gigondas La Réserve red were ****(*) wines.
LVT 2016 r 2016 rosé Authentic wines from the North, North-West zones from the village. Anne-Marie's father has long been Mayor of Gigondas. Long raising has been a feature - the Black Label receives four years, the White label three years. The Gigondas white label red was a **** wine when tasted during its raising. The Vacqueyras red is robust.
LVT 2016 r Robust, successful Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Vin de Table, and, from 2012, Beaumes-de-Venise red. The Gigondas Tradition is good value, and very true, can be STGT wine, as in 2014, when it was ****(*) and in 2016, when it was *****. The oaked Font de Tonin is also very good, requiring time. The 2015 Vacqueyras red had flair and energy, a **** wine; the 2016 was a **** STGT wine, while the Beaumes-de-Venise 2015 red was a ****(*) STGT wine.
LVT 2016 r Natural, country wines with STGT leanings. A lot is sold in bulk to merchants, though the Gigondas red has risen from 8,000 to 31,000 bottles recently
LVT 2016 r I was impressed by the style in the 2016 Gigondas from this recent start-up with 7 hectares: it was a ****(*) STGT wine
LVT 2016 r An ex-Co-operateur, Eric has been a vigneron since 1990. His first wine was 2000. Good quality, STGT leanings, too. Also sound Vacqueyras red, Sablet red.
LVT 2014 r 2014 rosé Modest
LVT 2013 r Only 10% is bottled – 5,000 bottles. The same family as Domaine La Bouscatière. "De la terre", grounded, warm lands wine.
LVT 2014 r Good Gigondas here, whole bunch use. Clément's uncle is Thiérry Faravel.
LVT 2016 r 2015 wh Quirky, experimental, Jean-Pierre Cartier has long been a vigneron of note. He was the first to use new oak in 1985, via his Cuvée Florence. It has been a good performer over the years, with the 2016 a ***** wine when tasted from cask. There is also good Sablet (red and white), Beaumes-de-Venise. Daughter Florence is now well established at the domaine.
LVT 2016 r The Brunier-Kermit Lynch estate. Refined wines. The standard wine was split into two different cuvées in 2007, one from near the domaine (Les Racines), the other from higher up (Terrasse du Diable). Les Racines, from older vines, is the winner, a very stylish wine: the 2015 was a ****(*) wine, a real rocky fissure event
LVT 2016 r 2014 rosé Franck Alexandre, ex-President of the Growers Union, also works closely with the Perrin family, for their Famille Perrin range of Gigondas. The sandiest soils in Gigondas. Stylish Gigondas, en finesse and intricate. The Domaine Les Teyssonnières classic wine was a ****(*) STGT wine in 2016
LVT 2016 r 2016 rosé Improving wines, rather modern style. The spherical **** 2013 Les Mourres was a Burgundian take on Gigondas, as was the **** 2015, while the 2015 Bois des Mourres was a **** STGT wine
LVT 2016 r I sense improvement here, younger generation influence as well. Since 2010 the red has been ***(*) to ****
LVT 2016 r 2009 wh Early drinking style of red Vacqueyras, and more depth Gigondas red wines. Jean-Pierre Palon was President of the Cave de Gigondas between 1978 and 2001. Sébastien is the 4th generation, and the domaine has been bottling its own wine since 2003. There was welcome progress in the 2015 Gigondas Tradition red, a ***(*) wine, and also in the 2016 Gigondas Tradition red, a **** wine.
LVT 2016 r 2012 rosé Very consistent, high quality - full, robust wines that reward patience to allow their tannins to settle and integrate. Some of the wines are STGT, such as the ***** 2015 and ****(*) 2016 .
LVT 2011 r 4th generation domaine that is now bottling more than in the past, when the wine was sold to the merchant trade. Connections with a bottle shop - the Tour de l`Isle wine store
LVT 2016 r 2015 wh Top-class Gigondas domaine. Very long-lived wines, from the heart of the matter. The Rasteau red, based on 1967 Grenache, was **** in 2012, 2014 and 2015, while the Sablet blanc l'Oratory, always good, was a winning **** in 2015
LVT 2016 r Sweetening, smoothing wines under the influence of the well-known Châteauneuf-du-Pape oenologue adviser, Philippe Cambie, who favours markedly ripe cropping and low sulphur use – think Domaine Saint-Préfert, for example. They are interesting in the sleek, modern way. The preferred of the three 2016 Gigondas reds was the ****(*) Vieilles Vignes. Good Vin de France since 2010.
LVT 2016 r 2013 wh Yves Gras used to make punchy wines that would tread a tightrope between mature finesse and concentrated extraction. Since 2010 he has done a welcome U-turn, and is now in pursuit of freshness and a lighter touch, with less extraction. He has also cut down the whole bunch fermentations. Many of the wines are organic. The 2015 Gigondas Les Hautes Garrigues was a ****(*) Burgundian-style finesse wine in 2015, for example. Yves also owns over 5 hectares of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, part of it from the closing down Domaine de Monpertuis: the 2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Ouest red was an STGT wine of flair. He has a busy merchant business as well - that once included very good Roaix, which he stopped after 2010 since it is "impossible to sell".
LVT 2013 r Split of family domaine means that Lurent Varenne runs this 6+ hectare side of it. Some quality in the wines, notably oaked 2008, but the 2013 showed Brett
LVT 2016 r Two of the three sons of the late lamented Edmond Burle, both in their early thirties. As expected, natural, whole bunch wines with lots of guts in them. STGT notions here. I enjoyed their genuine 2016 vin de pays de Vaucluse red, a ***(*) wine
LVT 2016 r 2016 wh 2017 rosé Bought in 2009 by Boisset, the BIG CHEESE company of France actuellement. Standards have been good since that purchase, with highlights from the consistent quality at the Gigondas Domaine de Longue Toque, where the wines have character: the 2016 was a ****(*) wine, while the 2016 Longue Toque Hommage à Gabriel Meffre, not made every year, was a ***** wine when tasted after a year of raising. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Laurus red was a stylish, well made **** wine in 2016. There is also the Château Grand Escalion at Costières de Nimes.
This is the company that brings you Fat Bastard wines, as well as the supermarket favourite Côtes-du-Rhône La Châsse du Pape red. Gabriel was the main man at Gigondas post-World War Two. Cairanne has recently been added to the roster.
From the Northern Rhône, the Côte-Rôtie Laurus and both the 2015 Hermitage Laurus wines, red and white, were ****(*) wines, pre-bottling, the last-named STGT; the 2016 Hermitage Laurus white was also a lovely, generous ****(*) wine. The 2015 Condrieu was ****, the pay-off from having longstanding relationships in the North
LVT 2016 r 2012 wh 33% sold to merchants. Annual average of 400,000 bottles of all Gigondas. They make 5,000 HL of Gigondas, and 4,000 HL of all other wines – vin de pays, vin de table, CdRhône, Séguret (their only Village). 78 adherents (down from 83), av holding 2.3 hectares, all of them have Gigondas vines. At Vacqueyras 12 Co-operateurs; Séguret 3; Beaumes-de-Venise red 7; Beaumes-de-Venise Muscat 1; Sablet since 2015 1; Côtes du Rhône 20; 800 hl in 2015. Vin de pays de Vaucluse is their own wine.
The Cave has always produced wines that demonstrate the merits of a small scale Co-operative. The reds are usually well filled and have some local character. Gigondas Signature is very sound, and good value, too. Two Gigondas 2016s of note are the ****(*) Le Primitif red and the **** Le Brut du Foudre. Since 2012 there has been an organic Gigondas from 9 hectares, les primaires - also sound. It can be hard to keep up with new cuvées coming along - two in 2014, it appears, L'Hallali Grande Réserve red and a Première Cuvée red. I would also highlight the excellent ****(*) 2016 Vacqueyras Beaumirail, a wine with bundles of character when tasted pre-bottling.
LVT 2016 r Recent improvement. Robust wines: the Gigondas Terra Rossa was a ****(*) wine in 2016, the Gigondas Grande Réserve a **** wine. Sound Séguret red, too.
LVT 2014 r 2016 wh Good new merchant business, full-bodied wines, with the range converting to organic or already organic. The wines are vinified at their domaines, and purchased as wine rather than harvested crop. It was started in 2010. Lionel is a Professor of philosophy at the Lycée of Carpentras; his grandfather had a small vineyard at Luynes in the Bouches du Rhône – 0.7 hectare of Carignan and a bit of Syrah, both 1978. 10,000 bottles are now produced across the range. The white wine is a Vacqueyras, whicih was a plump, enjoyable ***(*) in 2016.
LVT 2016 r 2017 wh Ex Co-operateurs at Vacqueyras. Jean-Luc is from that village, Josie from Gigondas. First wine in 2007. Understated, natural style to the wines, finesse successfully achieved. Officially organic from 2012. Whole bunch fermentation has been replaced by destemming and a shortened vinification - 3 weeks, down from 4-5 weeks - from the 2014 vintage. Quality is extremely steady here. The Vacqueyras red [5 hectares] in bottle has risen from around 6,000 to 19,000, the 2016 a sound ***(*) wine. The limited edition, under 3,000 bottles, Vacqueyras white has character, the 2017 a **** wine with style and quiet authority.
LVT 2016 r Carefully made, interesting wines from a domaine that has moved to organic cultivation. STGT qualities. Time is required to allow fusion. The 2015 Gigondas Ventabren was VALUE ***** wine, the 2015 Gigondas Tradition full of character, a ****(*) wine. The positions were reversed with the excellent 2016s - the Tradition a ***** wine, the Ventabren a ****(*) wine
LVT 2016 r 2017 wh 2016 rosé Improved wines, definite signs of revival at this long-established, large domaine. The Gigondas reds are always well filled: notable in 2016 were the ***** Le Pas de l'Aigle and the ****(*) Romane Machotte. Good Vacqueyras, also, and a real winner of a Côtes du Rhône blanc, made from early 1950s Clairette on the high plateau of Grande Romane; the Roulepierre is steel vat prepared, the Domaine Grande Romane receives oak. There is a also good Cairanne red, Les Hautes Rives, which was **** in 2015, pre-bottling. From the northern Rhône, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Les Capelets red was a ****(*) wine when tasted pre-bottling