Domaine Les Pallières, Les Racines, Gigondas, Rhone, France, 2017

Domaine Les Pallières, Les Racines, Gigondas, Rhone, France, 2017

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About The Producer
Domaine Les Pallières is undeniably one of the greatest, longest-running properties of the Southern Rhône—outside the village of Gigondas, woven into the foothills of the beautiful and brooding Dentelles de Montmirail. The domaine had been a continuously running farm within the same family since the fifteenth century! Les Pallières was once a famous domaine with wines of impeccable character, yet the property had slowly fallen into disrepair. Two great frosts of the twentieth century had killed off many of the olive and fruit trees, and both the winery and the vineyards were badly in need of repairs. By 1998, the Roux brothers wanted to make a change. With no future successors to take their place, they decided to sell.

The Brunier brothers, Daniel and Frédéric, of the famed Vieux Télégraphe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, were rising stars in the Southern Rhône at the time, having distinguished themselves time and time again with world class wines. A casual discussion over lunch at Chez Panisse between Daniel and Kermit Lynch, the Brunier’s longtime American importer, spontaneously turned into a game plan to revive the faded jewel—Les Pallières. Though the competition to buy the domaine was fierce with very reputable names in the mix, the Roux brothers finally decided to sell to the Bruniers and Kermit. After decades of neglect, Pallières’ renaissance had begun.

A focus on the terroir and its potential soon led to a clear, new direction. The vineyards range from 250-400 meters in altitude, with varying proportions of sand and clay interwoven with limestone scree descending from the Dentelles. Terraces were built and reinforced, allowing for better water retention. A new winery was built to receive the harvested parcels individually in gravity-fed tanks. The many lieux-dits, once blended into one cuvée of Gigondas, have been separated into two, starting with the 2007 vintage, in an effort to best express two remarkable personalities. Cuvée “Terrasse du Diable,” encompasses the low-yielding vines from the higher altitudes that express great structure and intense minerality. Cuvée “Les Racines” showcases the vineyard parcels surrounding the winery—the origin of the domaine with the oldest vines—with the emphasis on freshness and extravagant cornucopian fruit.

Domaine Les Pallières has become a partnership among friends, a real meeting of the minds—a creative collaboration of three leading, passionate experts on the wines of the Rhône.

About the Wine
Just when you think you have tasted the very best expression nature can offer, along comes another vintage which just leaves you speechless. It happened in 1989 / 90 in Bordeaux and here we are in the Southern Rhone with an exceptional pair of vintages from two legendary families which will keep winelovers entranced and intrigued for many years to come.

We (Vignobles Brunier) cultivate and vinify various expressions of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape terroir – Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe (red and white), Télégramme (red), Piedlong (red), Clos la Roquète (white) – but also Les Pallières in Gigondas (rosé and red), as well as Le Pigeoulet (red and white) and Mégaphone (red) in the foothills of Mont Ventoux. We are wild about Grenache, a grape variety that has found a favourite home in our Provençal countryside.

Since 1998, Frédéric and Daniel Brunier and Kermit Lynch have been tending to the destiny of Domaine Les Pallières, one of Gigondas's oldest estates. "Les Racines" is a parcel selection of the oldest vines (60 years or more) around the main house and the ageing cellars, in the lieu-dit Les Pallières. The Les Pallières domaine consists of a single 334-acre estate comprising 62 acres of vineyards and
272 acres of pine and oak. Grapes from about 60% of the plantings are blended in “Les Racines”.

Grape / Blend
80% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 7% Cinsault, 5% Clairette

Origin
Gigondas, Rhône, France

Tasting Notes
“Les Racines”, a cuvée made with grapes from the estate’s oldest vines, has the velvet, depth and harmony that defines old grenache when cultivated in refined terroirs. It has very high ageing potential, as balance is the main factor. “Les Racines”, a cuvée made with grapes from the estate’s oldest vines, has the velvet, depth and harmony that defines old grenache when cultivated in refined terroirs. It has very high ageing potential, as balance is the main factor.

95 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Despite being riper and more concentrated than the Terrasse du Diable bottling, the 2017 Gigondas Les Racines shares a similarly edgy structure. Potent raspberry fruit is delivered on a full-bodied, richly textured palate that finishes crisp and a bit jagged. Give it a couple of years in the cellar, and it should be fine for drinking over the next 10 years. Range: 93-95 points

95 Points - James Suckling
Aromas of cassis, garrigue and redcurrants and wild raspberries. Grenache drives the palate in a long, linear and very focused style. Dense, but delicate, with a fresh and juicy, raspberry-pastry finish. The vines are 80+ years old. Striking power and focus. Drink or hold.

95 Points - Jeb Dunnick
The 2017 Gigondas Les Racines offers a slightly darker color as well as a more powerful, black fruited style. Currants, sous bois, loamy earth, black olives, and loads of spice flow to a powerful, structured wine that shows the sunny, sexy, opulent, yet weightless style of the vintage brilliantly. It's another winner from this estate. Range: 93-95

93 Points - Wine Spectator
This has a dark and winey profile, with steeped fig and black currant fruit, tightly wrapped in sage, licorice root, roasted apple wood and gunpowder tea flavors. The long finish unwinds slowly, so bank on some cellaring here. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette. Best from 2023 through 2032.

Product size: 750ml

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