Our co-owner, Debbie Zachareas discovered the wines of Domaine Gripa on a trip to the Rhone Valley last year. She came away incredibly impressed and now views them as one of the best producers in the region. And, she had their wines imported into the US exclusively just for us! This 2013 Saint-Joseph is a wonderful example of why Debbie fell so hard for the domaine. Purity, density and finesse aren't normally adjectives one associates with the appellation but this wine has all that in spades. Red and black fruit driven with a prominent note of blackberry, especially on the nose which also exudes the lovely northern Rhone peppery spice, this is a lovely bottle of Syrah. It is showing well now yet clearly has a long way to go.
Located in the small village of Mauves on the west bank of the Rhône River, the Gripas began supplying their grapes to other producers in 1930 yet didn’t officially establish their own winery until 1974 when Bernard founded Domaine Bernard Gripa. With a total of 16 organically farmed hectares, Domaine Gripa is a bit unique because they make equal amounts of white wines to reds in an area mostly known for red wine. The majority of their vines are planted to Syrah, Marsanne and Roussanne in Saint Joseph and they also own 3.5 hectares of Marsanne and Roussanne vines in Saint-Péray, a small white wine appellation with only 65 hectares under vine in the southern-most end of the northern Rhône Valley. Bernard’s son, Fabrice is now helping to run things at the domaine after ‘spreading his wings’ making wine in Australia for years.