Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ask About Gramenon

Domaine Gramenon is located in the Southern Rhone in the heart of Drôme Provençal between Grignon and Nyons. Their vineyards extend over 24 hectares of slopes at 300 meters altititude. It’s one of the few producers that Thirst and Robert Parker both laud.

Gramenon is owned and operated by the charming and inspiring Michelle Aubrey-Laurent, with help from her son, Maxim-François. We were lucky enough to meet them at a salon tasting at their domaine last January. Their wines are featured in the best natural wine bars in Paris and are available at Thirst once again in very limited quantities. Gramenon's wines are always impeccable, pure, vividly colored, and dense, ripe (but not jammy or over-ripe). They farm their vines, ranging in age from young to over 130 years old, organically and biodynamically. They never fine or filter, use only indigenous yeast, and never add things like sugar or acid. Their bottling is unique: they bottle all their wines in late spring before their first summer following elevage with minimal to no sulfur. The soil is mostly calcareous clay with some parcels that have galets roulés and sand.

Newly arrived 2008 cuvées...
Poignée de raisins – "Handful of grapes" made mostly of young vines Grenache. A vin de soif meant for immediate consumption. Delicious slightly chilled.

La Sagesse – a powerful 100% Grenache cuvée that comes from old and wise vines.

Sierra du Sud – a 100% Syrah wine that tastes more like a St Joseph or Cornas than a Southern Rhone red.

Les Laurentides – an old vines blend of Grenache and Syrah that is like no other.

Two of our favorite Rhone producers, Catherine Le Goeuil (Domaine Catherine Le Goeuil) and Michelle Aubrey-Laurent (Domaine Gramenon).