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Date Printed: 3/3/2015
Domaine La Bouissiere Gigondas La Font de Tonin 2006
Domaine La Bouissiere Gigondas La Font de Tonin 2006
(search item no. 97096)
International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 3/3/2015: $42.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The grapes for this special cuvée hails from some of the highest terraces in the Dentelles de Montmirail. A blend of 70% Grenache (50-year-old vines) and 30% Mourvèdre (75-year-old vines), aged 100% in barrel on fine lees (with 20% new wood.) Both powerful and elegant, showing a great harmony of black fruits, tobacco notes and touches of wood spice. The "font," or fountain, refers to a picturesque site in the family vineyards so named by grandfather Antonin, the founder of the domaine.

"Opaque ruby. Compellingly perfumed nose offers suave cassis, licorice and baking spice aromas. Elegant, medium-bodied and sweet, offering fresh dark fruit preserve flavors, velvety tannins and slow-mounting tanginess. This boasts almost shocking energy and cut compared to what I got from the nose. An excellent showing today."
-International Wine Cellar 91-94

My Notes:

About Domaine La Bouissiere:

Thierry and Gilles Faravel have serious mountaineer credentials in Gigondas. While other altitude-challenged winemakers stick to vineyards at the foot of the towering Dentelles de Montmirail, these brothers are proud to stake a claim further up these dizzying granite slopes.

This is mountain terroir, with cooler weather and demanding soils, a mix of limestone and clay. The family's Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre vines are mostly older (between 30 and 50 years) and are very low yielding. Because of the ideal conditions here, Thierry Faravel explained that they are the last domaine in Gigondas almost every vintage to start the harvest—the combination of exposure and altitude allows grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. What this means for the wine is more elegance and freshness, which is certainly what you'll discover in every one of the Faravels' unique mountain cuvées.

Thierry and Gilles grew up in Gigondas and learned much from their winemaking father, Antonin, who Thierry described as a “weekend winemaker.” While he worked at another domaine, Antonin would tend his family plots only on the weekends when he had free time. For almost two decades the family sold their fruit from these mountain plots, until they decided in 1979 to start bottling wines themselves.

Today, the Faravels are considered one of the leading artisan winemakers in Gigondas, if not in the whole southern Rhône valley. Since the late 80s, the family has been dedicated to organic farming, using organic fertilizers and as little sulfates as possible in their wines. “You have to respect the wine,” says Thierry, and this shows: harvest is always by hand, and wines are never pumped but led from tank to barrel via gravity. Vinification is always as natural as possible, each vintage dictating how the brothers handle each varietal through fermentation and aging. Wines are seldom fined or filtered—to quote Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, these wines are "vibrant" and utterly alive. Domaine la Bouïssiere wines, with their rich complexity and stunning freshness, definitely deserve serious real-estate in any serious cellar—10, 15 years is the norm for these impressive, long-lived cuvées.

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