Domaine Brusset Rasteau La Bastide 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This has such rich and delicious fruit. Ripe dark-berry and plum aromas and flavors run riot here. Very succulent and such great value, too. Drink or hold.
The 2017 Rasteau La Bastide is ripe and chocolaty, full-bodied and creamy-textured. A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, it's almost dessert-like, with a rich, velvety finish that lingers on the palate.
One of the more fresh, focused wines in the lineup, the 2017 Rasteau La Bastide offers classy red plum and blackberry fruit as well as notes of sappy underbrush, spice, and spring flowers. With a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, good acidity, and plenty of underlying structure, hide bottles for 2-3 years and enjoy over the following 7-8 years. Rating: 91+
Violet, licorice and cassis nose. Very full bodied, lush and juicy with fine, supporting tannins and a firm, holistic finish.
Vinification is utterly modern. Yields are kept very low (between 25 and 30 hectoliters per hectare for Cairanne and Gigondas) by close pruning and a vendange verte in abundant vintages. The grapes are all hand-picked, completely destemmed, and vinified parcel by parcel, varietals separated. During harvest Laurent may have almost 100 different microvinifications in the cellar, representing different grape varietals of some 60 distinct parcels. All are fermented in enameled steel vats with temperatures controlled at 28C with a day or two at 34C for maximum extraction. Following the initial fermentation and malolactic in tank, the separate varietals and parcels are blended for each wine, with inferior tanks being sold off to negociants.
The Southern Rhône region of Gigondas extends northwest from the notably jagged wall of mountains called the Dentelles di Montmirail, whose highest point climbs to about 2,600 feet. The region and its wines have much in common with the neighboring Chateauneuf-du-Pape except that the vineyards of Gigondas exist at higher elevation and its soils, comprised mainly of crumbled limestone from the Dentelles, often produce a more dense and robust Grenache-based red wine.
The region has a history of fine winemaking, extending back to Roman times. But by the 20th century, Gigondas was merely lumped into the less distinct zone of Côtes du Rhône Villages. However, it was first among these satellite villages to earn its own appellation, which occurred in 1971.
Gigondas reds must be between 50 to 100% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre comprising the bulk of the remainder of the blend. They tend express rustic flavors and aromas of wild blackberry, raspberry, fig, plum, as well as juniper, dried herbs, anise, smoke and river rock. The best are bold but balanced, and finish with impressively sexy and velvety tannins.
The Gigondas appellation also produces rosé but no white wines.
Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.