Domaine Gramenon, Côtes du Rhône Rouge ‘Il Fait Soif’ Maxime-François Laurent 2015

Original price was: £19.50.Current price is: £12.50. (75cl)

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Sourced from 15-30 year old vines on clay/ limestone soil. Partial destemming. Natural yeasts. Aged 6 months in stainless steel vats.

About the producer

Founded in 1976 by Philippe Laurent and Michèle Aubéry-Laurent, Domaine Gramenon lies in the heart of the Drôme Provençale in Montbrison-sur-Lez, surrounded by 25 hectares of vines and olive groves. The vineyards are planted on a limestone plateau, 300m above sea level, which brings a purity and freshness to the wines. Unfortunately, Philippe passed away from an accident in 1999, so Michèle was joined by her son Maxime-François. Together they aim to keep the identity of each plot of land, which gives birth to their ‘cuvées’. Since the start, the vines have been cultivated with a natural, organic approach. The soil is worked mechanically in both Spring and Summer, with an additional manual hoeing on some plots. Only copper and sulphur are used against oidium and mildew.

All vines are sustained with traditional bioorganic preparations. The domaine is certified biodynamic. The fermentation is conducted without SO2 and only with natural yeasts. Depending on the vintage, the ageing is either carried out in vats to keep the freshness of the fruit and most expressive aromatics or in used oak barrels to refine the tannins. No new oak barrels are used. No fining or filtration prior to bottling. The aim is to produce wines that truly reflect their terroirs with purity and authenticity.

Maxime-François has also created a small wine merchant business in partnership with a neighbouring vigneron, whose vineyards are certified organic. The clay-limestone subsoils, combined with the location of the vines, tend to produce staunchly fruit-forward wines. Crafted in the most natural way possible, Maxime releases his particular cuvées under his own name.

Regions Vintage Report:

“A top quality vintage: Rhône lovers will enjoy the ripeness, concentration and telling freshness that has yielded so many wines of fine balance with statuesque tannins. Producers are thrilled that nature has been kind, enabling them to fill their cellars with good volumes of top wines.”2015 In the 30 odd years since I departed my “home” region of France and during my many twice-yearly visits to the Rhône Valley, I have rarely seen so many smiles and happy faces. After some difficult, challenging vintages, with low quantities and demanding climatic conditions, 2015 has delivered good quantities of very high calibre wines. Quantity doesn’t always chime with quality but in 2015, happily, it does; what is more, it looks like 2016 has also produced a decent crop of top wines. The producers’ upbeat mood is therefore fully justified, with their cellars full of some of the best wines produced in many a year. The North The berries had excellent ripeness, whilst not being overripe. 2015 is not a vintage marked by excessive heat. The majority of wines offer excellent concentration, whilst also exhibiting marked finesse and balancing acidity, giving an instant and appetising appeal to the wines. The more affordable wines are fruit-focused and juicy with tannins that are already integrated. They are already very attractive, but will also age beautifully. The real gems, though, are those finest cuvées that marry intensity, complexity and balanced fruit/structure, ensuring great ageing potential. The white wines can also lay claim to a share of the “star-billing” thanks to the fruit having coped admirably during the warm summer months. Most wines rank amongst the very best that I have tasted for many years. The South Following a couple of tricky vintages, the weather in 2015 was much more clement and settled. It may have been pretty hot during the dry summer months, but the arrival of timely rain showers in early September refreshed the grapes, tempering the rate of maturity and allowed the growers to wait until optimum ripening before excessive sugar accumulation. The resulting wines are clearly of marked ripeness, yet they retain excellent balance due to a welcome seam of refreshing acidity and their well-sculpted tannins. The white wines, too, are a great success, helped also by good acidity levels balancing the wonderful ripeness.Christian Honorez, Director November 2016©adVINture 2020

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