Wine of the Week: 2007 Domaine les Pallières Gigondas \’Les Racines\’
The sun-bleached landscape of Gigondas in France\’s southern Rhone has always been one of my favorite haunts. I love the wines too, especially the Gigondas from the venerable Domaine les Pallières. But when Frédéric and Daniel Brunier of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape property Vieux Télégraphe and wine importer Kermit Lynch took over the estate in 1998, under the guidance of these Rhone experts the estate\’s wines went up a notch or two.
Made from the oldest vines on the estate, the 2007 bottling \ »Les Racines\ » is dense and inky, with a powerful perfume of wild herbs and berries that leads you back to the glass again and again. Each sip reveals something new — a hint of licorice, the taste of raspberries or black cherries. Yet for all its power, this blend of Grenache with a small proportion of Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette is remarkably supple and lush. Drink it with rich, juicy grilled meats, spicy barbecued ribs, a classic beef daube or duck breast.
If you can\’t find \ »Les Racines,\ » look for the other cuvée \ »Les Terrasse du Diable,\ » which may be more available. Either one is terrific.
The 2007 Pallières Les Racines qualifies as a great wine. In fact,I think it is safe to say that the 2007 Les Racines qualifies as a living wine, a wine you can approach the way you might approach another human being. Clarity and ambiguity rarely appear side by side in the same wine. They coexist in the 2007 Les Racines. If you do not taste this wine – this year, in five years, and in then years – you will be cheating yourself. \ »Les Racines\ » means \ »the roots\ ». When you drink the 2007 Les Racines, you nourish your soul in the same way that a root nourishes its vine. […] The wine overwhelms you with its depth, then it teases you with the twin promises of love and beauty. When the wine delivers on those promises, you surrender to its generosity. The finish tells ou a story. In the story, you are connected to other people by a line that has no name. […] The story has no ending. It fades into the sunset, only to reappear as a star in the sky. […]
Ruby-red. Ripe dark berries and kirsch on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice and black tea. Rich, deep and powerful, with a distinctly ripe character to the dark fruit flavors. Fresher on the finish, which features chewy tannins and leaves smoke and licorice notes behind. This is a bit inscrutable today, hiding more than it\’s showing. 89( ?)
16/20. Un nez riche et profond, raisins sultanines, épices douces et d’oranges confites. En bouche, il est encore très jeune, mais on sent déjà le potentiel de ce beau vin savoureux et plein de caractère aux tanins tendus, mais racés.
91-94 Saturated ruby. Youthfully vibrant dark berry aromas are complemented by suave garrigue and floral nuances. Sappy blackberry and kirsch flavors are firmed by fine-grained tannins and lifted by zesty minerals. Floral and Asian spice notes carry through a long, juicy finish. This is really promising.
Tender, red jam nose,floral and pure. Charming, long easy-fruit palate and depth.Tannin to the end. 2011-2020
Even better is the 2007 Gigondas Les Racines Vieilles Vignes. Its dense ruby/purple hue is accompanied by an extraordinary bouquet of black raspberries, kirsch, licorice, crushed rocks, and flowers. Full-bodied with sensational texture, purity, and length as well as remarkable elegance and freshness, this stunning Gigondas can be enjoyed over the next 15-20 years. Bravo!
Partners Daniel Brunier and Kermit Lynch impeccably run this estate. I should also give a nod to Kermit Lynch’s latest musical endeavor, his brilliant CD called Man’s Temptation, which I highly recommend (particularly the song Gare de Lyon). Les Pallieres’ 2008s are two of the finest Gigondas I tasted in what is a very mediocre vintage for that appellation.