Grenache 70%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 15%. Old vines planted in the area known as Les Blovac in Rasteau. South facing hillsides of clay, sand and stony soil. A robust wine with a broad-shouldered body of brambly black fruit with touches of dried herbs. A slight smoky minerality waits in the background.
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Domaine Santa Duc
We love to show the diversity of terroir within a given region through the lens of a single produce . . . if a quality one exists. This is an experience we often enjoy, and possibly take for granted, in Burgundy. Throughout the rest of France we are seldom so lucky.But the modern incarnation of Domaine Santa Duc does just that for the Southern Rhône. There are many producers in the Southern Rhône that make the entire spectrum of wines the region offers, but only a few, such as Chateau Rayas, are making with as much purity, balance and sense of terroir.Established in 1874 at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail in Gigondas, the domaine has continued with an uninterrupted line of 6 generations. In 1985 Yves Gras took over for his father Edmond and ushered in a new era for his winery and the region at large.While Yves was not alone in the push to put Gigondas on the map in the 80’s and 90’s he was one of the few who did so without compromising purity of expression. From the outset his intentions, and those of his son who took over in 2017, were tenets we hold in high esteem: massale selections, biodynamic viticulture, whole cluster vinification, fermentation with wild yeast, and minimal intervention.In the wave of excitement over Southern Rhône wines that followed in the late 90’s and into the 2000’s many producers chose to chase points by heavily extracting, inoculating and otherwise manipulating their wines. And perhaps that is why Domaine Santa Duc is not as well known as other producers in the region. But you can taste the deference to terroir and tradition in these wines, something so often lacking in examples from their compatriots. They are expressive, but not overly weighty and eschew high alcohol levels to maintain grace and vibrancy. One could even say these are Southern Rhône wines for Burgundy lovers.In that vein there is much to look forward to from Domaine Santa Duc. Yves son, Benjamin, studied oenology in Burgundy and worked at Domaine Romanée-Conti for a spell. These wines will only gain prestige and elegance.