Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas Lieu Dit 2018
A ruby-purple color. A fresh and expressive nose, on small red berries, morello cherry, cherry, licorice sweet, plum and kirsch. Tannins of great finesse and freshness, all the typicity of the sands.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Coming from a sandy parcel just beside the winery and all old-vine Grenache, the 2018 Gigondas Le Lieu-Dit makes the most of this vintage and is a classic example of this cooler terroir. Gorgeous notes of kirsch liqueur, rose petals, strawberries, spring flowers, toasted spices, and peppery herbs all give way to a full-bodied, beautifully textured, elegant Gigondas that has a wonderful sense of finesse, classic southern Rhône power and richness, flawless balance, and a great finish. It’s one of the wines of the vintage. While it’s not the biggest wine in the lineup, it has incredible finesse and elegance.
The 2018 Gigondas Le Lieu Dit (100% Grenache, grown on sand) is a profound success, boasting subtle garrigue aromas that lend layers of complexity to the bold black cherry and raspberry fruit. It's not overly dark in the glass, but seduces with its perfume and silken touch. Full-bodied, but supple and charming, this is a top-notch effort, capped off by a long, mouthwatering finish.
Sourced from 60-year-old vines planted in sandy soil, this varietal Grenache offers gob smacking ripeness alongside freshness. It’s a big, richly extracted wine but the red-plum and cherry flavors are vibrant, lifted by minerality and pert, upright acidity. Silky tannin's accentuate the rippling mouthfeel. Ready to drink now, the wine is solid enough to improve through 2030 and hold longer. Editors’ Choice.
A fresh, focused style, with a red fruit profile of currant, damson plum and raspberry infused with rooibos tea, singed cedar, mineral and light savory notes. Approachable now, but there's racy grip on the back end and plenty in reserve to make this worth cellaring as well.
Much like many of the appellations of the southern Rhône, the wines of Gigondas are based on the Grenache grape. It tends to rusticity if yields are not checked or if it is vinified carelessly. It is supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre with smaller amounts of various other varieties. There are two types of wine made in Gigondas, red and rosé, but the production of rosé is so small it’s mainly an academic point. Gigondas is red wine country. While you can find some white varieties in the vineyards, they are either bottled as Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc or co-fermented with the red grapes to make Gigondas red and rosé wines.
Domaine des Bosquets has deep historical roots in Gigondas. It was first mentioned as a vineyard site in 1376. Bosquets means “a wooded grove,” which is an apt name for many of the vineyards one finds high up in the Dentelles – isolated and surrounded by forest and scrub. The oldest surviving buildings on the property, constructed in 1644 under Jean de Rivière Seigneur de Laval’s direction, are comprised of a defensive tower, protective walls, and a solidly built provençal farmhouse. All have thick walls testifying to the need for protection against the cold winds of winter, the heat of summer, and the risks of living in such a remote corner of France. In 1674 the estate was inherited by the Chauvet family, who ran the property for many generations. In the 19th century, the estate passed through Eugène Raspail’s hands, who reorganized many of the vineyard plots and terraced portions of them. In 1961 Gabriel Meffre discovered that Domaine des Bosquets was for sale. Motivated by the potential and history of the estate and his love of his wife Juliette, a descendant of the Chauvet family, he purchased Domaine des Bosquets to bring it back into the family.
The property Gabriel and Juliette had purchased was in some state of disrepair. The earlier work of Eugène Raspail was unfinished but following in his footsteps, they completed the reorganization of the vineyards, most notably finishing the terraces that separated two vineyards sites that would become La Colline and Le Plateau. Many of the vines that exist today at Domaine des Bosquets were planted by Gabriel and Juliette, relying on their friendship with the Reynaud of Château Rayas for budwood to replant much of the Grenache and Syrah and expanding the plantings to the estate’s current size of 26 hectares. When Gabriel died in 1987, Domaine des Bosquets passed to his daughter Sylvette and Sylvette’s son Laurent Brechet. In 1995 Laurent built a fermentation room and cellar at Domaine des Bosquets – before that time the grapes were sent to Gabriel Meffre’s négoce operation in Gigondas and later they were fermented and aged at Château de Vaudieu in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The most recent chapter of Domaine des Bosquets’ history began in 2010 when Julien Brechet, Laurent’s younger brother, took charge of the property. With little in the way of technical training, Laurent sent him to Château de Pibarnon in Bandol to begin his training before finishing his informal studies at Château de Vaudieu. Julien considers 2015 to be his first independent vintage. While Philippe and Laurent were available to answer questions, he was left largely on his own. With each successive vintage that we taste, we are astounded that wines that were so remarkable when we first added them to our portfolio just keep getting better.
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.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.