JEB DUNNUCK – SOUTHERN RHÔNE: THE CHARMING, PROVENÇAL 2018S AND THE MORE CONCENTRATED, CLASSIC 2019S

« Readers can find additional information on the 2018 vintage in last year’s Southern Rhône Report, but to summarize, 2018 is a good, not great, vintage for the south that delivers upfront, charming, and Provençal wines to enjoy on release and over the coming decade or so. Few wines possess genuinely great concentration or depth, but are already complex, undeniably delicious, and loaded with character. While the vintage has few superstars, the quality at the mid-level is incredibly high, and unquestionably, the base cuvees from 2018 are as good as those from better vintages such as 2007, 2009, 2010, 2016, and 2017.

[…]

The 2019s will be a step up over the 2018s and offer more depth, concentration, and richness, all while showing considerable purity of fruit and elegance. While the year will be known for its hot, dry summer, the region saw substantial precipitation late in 2018 as well as early in 2019. A normal spring (just under 100 millimeters of rainfall) saw a healthy fruit set and yields are up over 2018 and 2017. This early-season rainfall is essential when trying to understand the vintage.

[…]

I’ll review these wines in depth next year, but in short, 2019 appears to be a beautiful, possibly exceptional, vintage for the Southern Rhône and is superior to 2018. »

– Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com, October 6, 2020

2018s

Les Racines rouge 2018
92+. Slightly deeper and richer, with a more backward style, the 2018 Gigondas Les Racines reveals a deeper ruby/plum color as well as terrific notes of ripe black cherries, roasted garrigue, scorched earth, and ground pepper. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, with plenty of underlying structure, it’s a terrific 2018 that’s going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and drink brilliantly over the following decade or more.

Terrasse Du Diable rouge 2018
92. Moving to the two 2018s, the 2018 Gigondas Terrasse Du Diable is primarily Grenache that comes from higher elevation, terraced vineyards in the eastern side of the Gigondas appellation. Offering lots of spiced red fruits, dried fruits, graphite, and some obvious minerality, this beauty is medium to full-bodied, has a seamless, elegant texture, and a great finish. It’s another no brainer Gigondas from this estate to enjoy over the next 10-15 years.

2019s

Les Racines rouge 2019
92-94+. More black currants, blueberries, peppery garrigue, licorice and mineral notes define the 2019 Gigondas Les Racines and it’s another beautifully rich, layered, textured barrel sample from this estate that’s going to benefit from short term cellaring.

Terrasse Du Diable rouge 2019
91-93+. Moving to the two 2019s from barrel, the 2019 Gigondas Terrasse Du Diable showed beautifully, with lots of red and blue fruits intermixed with notes of candied violets, cracked black pepper, and violets. It’s rich, medium to full-bodied, has a touch more mid-palate density than the 2018, and enough tannins to warrant a year or three of bottle age.

Vin De France Au Petit Bonheur rosé 2019
90. A beautifully little rose, the 2019 Vin De France Au Petit Bonheur Rosé reveals a lighter salmon hue as well as a great nose of cotton candy, dried spices, and loamy soil. With lots of minerality, medium-bodied richness, and a great texture, as well as a dry, clean finish, it’s going to shine on the dinner table and is ideal for drinking over the coming year.

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