2021 Domaine la Bouïssiere Côtes du Rhône AOP, France (750ml)

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Domaine la Bouïssiere cares for some of the highest vineyards in Gigondas, thus their estate wines are markedly more balanced, elegant and age-worthy than wines from the lowlands. In the 1960s, estate founder Antonin Faravel began to carve his vineyards out of the crumbling stone cliffs of the Dentelles de Montmirail (pictured on the family’s wine labels). He knew that the cooler temperatures and rocky soils would produce perfectly ripe grapes, with better acid balance and lower alcohols. While other winemakers quickly followed Antonin’s lead, Domaine la Bouïssiere without question is the original, high-altitude Gigondas. These vineyards are so steep that the Faravels must use a tractor with caterpillar treads to get up and down! This “higher-is-better” philosophy extends as well to the family’s Vacqueyras, where their older vines grow on a plateau that catches the cooling mistral as it sweeps down from the Alps. Winemakers (and brothers) Thierry and Giles Faravel border on the fanatical when it comes to the health of their vines and grapes. Theirs are wines that are intimately tied to and faithfully reflect the rugged, sensual beauty of the southern Rhône landscape from which they’re born.

This enchanting Côtes du Rhône blend is sourced from 30-year-old vines from the southeast facing estate vineyards (sitting at 1,050 feet altitude), with soils that are a mix of clay and limestone, and from a selection of declassified, younger-vine fruit from plots in the Beaumes de Venise AOC. The grapes were hand-harvested, destemmed and lightly crushed, before being fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled cement tanks. The wine was aged in cement tank and moved via gravity, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, with minimal sulfur addition.

Dazzling garnet robe, with flashes of red. Juicy aromas of black fruits and wild herbs. The palate bursts with luscious flavors of sweet red fruits, blackberries, and a hint of cured olive. Velvety tannins with a touch of baking spices on the finish. A lovely example of the succulent charm of Southern Rhône Grenache!

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