Domaine Des Tourelles
2004 Gigondas AOC
Red Blend •Gigondas AOC
France: Rhône Valley
What We Say
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Mission Codename: The End of an Era
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire one of the last vintages of Domaine des Tourelles Gigondas
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Domaine de Tourelles
Wine Subject: 2004 Gigondas AOC
Winemaker: Roger Cuillerat
The Gigondas AOC is located just across the river from the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation and adjacent to the famed villages of Lirac and Tavel. Under the watchful eye of the dramatically rugged Dentelles de Montmirail, known for its lacy look and not teeth as most visitors assume (Dentelle means lace, dents means teeth in French).
The wines of Gigondas must be made with no more than 80% Grenache, at least 15% of Syrah and Mourvedre with the remainder being no more than 10% of any local grape except Carignan.
In 2008 the French mega-house Perrin & Fils of Château Beaucastel purchased the historic property and vineyards of Domaine des Tourelles in an effort to bring more market recognition to these delicious and unique wines that are very much under appreciated.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark ruby red with garnet refection’s though its dark but clear core. Along the edges, the color fades to a lighter ruby then pink. When swirled, widely space thin legs of varying speeds ring the glass.
Smell – Initially a little tight, but once this wine opens you’re greeted with classic soft old-world aromas of dusty red cherry fruit followed by subtle gamey and meaty spice and herbal notes reminiscent of Provençal herbs. A touch of spicy cinnamon and menthol adds to the overall depth and complexity of this the bouquet of this wine.
Feel – Smooth and dry, then the fine textured tannins, medium acidity and a touch of spice kick in at mid palate providing a mouth-coating and almost chewy feel to this medium-to-full bodied wine.
Taste – Definitely old-world in character with very subtle earthy and dusty black cherry, plum and other other red berries framed by a solid base of baking and exotic spice, dried herbs and a hint of black olive.
Finish – Medium in length and clean, fading nicely with a touch of black cherry and lingering spice and herbs that are supported by its textured tannins and classic structure.
Conclusion – If you are a fan of old-world Chateauneuf-du-Pape, you owe it to yourself to try this classic wine whose Grenache component really stands out. Made from historic vineyards (recently purchased by Perrin & Fils), the 2004 Domaine des Tourelles Gigondas has a rustic and powerful elegance that is muscular but not overpowering. Give this wine some time to open up and you’ll find a wine that is perfect for pairing with the richest of sheep’s, goat’s and other ripe cheeses, charcuterie, and pâté.
The following is an article by Robert Camutu is Wine Spectators’ posted on August 29, 2008
Perrin & Fils Buys Domaine des Tourelles in Gigondas
Beaucastel’s owners up their stake in France’s Southern Rhône appellation by purchasing a historic estate
Adding to their growing portfolio of small, quality wine estates in France’s Southern Rhône Valley, the Perrin family of Château Beaucastel has acquired the historic but commercially underdeveloped Domaine des Tourelles in the tiny village of Gigondas.
The sale, finalized Aug. 27 for an undisclosed sum, includes about 22 acres of vineyards, planted mostly to Grenache, and a 17th century turreted monastery just below the center of the village that gives its name to the Gigondas wine appellation.
The purchase by the Perrins was widely praised as a move that would raise the exposure of Gigondas.
“We wanted to get bigger in Gigondas because we love this appellation,” said Marc Perrin, Perrin & Fils’ 38-year-old general manager, adding that his family has been negotiating the purchase of Tourelles for the past two years. “This is the property we really wanted to buy. We think it is outstanding terroir for Grenache-based wines.”
Perrin & Fils, the company run by the fourth and fifth generations of the Perrin winemaking family, has for nearly a decade focused on buying select vineyards in Southern Rhône village appellations and applying the same standards and philosophy, from organic agriculture to low yields and meticulous winemaking, found at their flagship winery, Beaucastel, in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
The Perrins already owned about 5 acres in Gigondas, located less than 15 miles northeast of Châteauneuf-du-Pape at the foot of the dramatically jagged Dentelles de Montmirail mountain chain. The Perrins have also bought the harvest from an additional 25 acres in Gigondas for their main Gigondas bottling, known as La Gille. They also make a small quantity of old-vine Gigondas from a pre-phylloxera vineyard parcel.
Perrin said the family was drawn to Tourelles because they believe the high sand content in the calcareous clay soils will add aromatic complexity and finesse to their Gigondas reds. He doesn’t see any big immediate changes at Tourelles. This fall’s harvest will be vinified on site and most of the more than 1,800 cases worth of wine from Tourelles will be blended into the Perrin’s La Gille. But, he added, the family also eventually hopes to make a top-end Gigondas called Close des Tourelle from a 7-acre enclosed plot on their new acquisition.
Despite Domaine des Tourelles’ evocative site and history, it is little known outside the region. The estate produced one Gigondas red each year, sold at the winery at a modest direct retail price.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the the Gigondas AOC in France’s southern Rhone can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Varietals: 80% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 2% Cinsault, 8% Mourvedre
Vinification: Traditional vinification. The grapes are sorted at maturity. Fermentation is prolonged from 15-20 days, allowing a maximum aroma to be attained… making this an exceptional wine.
Aging: Matured in oak barrels, our Gigondas wines are their best 12-15 months later and are then bottled.
Tasting: Delicious, with full flavour
About The Winery:
The area of Tourelles, located in the heart of the Gigondas appellation is made up of vines in Northwest, exposed slopes in marnish-limestone soil nature, under soleil. Ces assets flooded Dentelles de Montmirail give our wines a great balance, a vivacity, finesse and above all a very subtle bouquet.
The domain is composed of 9 hectares of vines an average age of 45 years with a high proportion of grenache (80 %), combined the syrah, the cinsault and mourvèdre, encépagement giving corsés wines, to the bouquet of liquorice, highly scented and very long in the mouth.
Harvest are held at the end of September, early October. They are manually to obtain a better quality. We practice agriculture in compliance with the nature and the environment.
We control our (25 to 30 hl/ha) performance by a green vintage and an effeuillage in July for optimal quality. Vinification is traditional: it consists of a lightweight foulage with a maceration extended from 15 to 20 days, to achieve maximum tannin and aroma that will make a great wine.
Elevés in oak barrels, our Gigondas expect their full development between 12 and 15 months and are then made in bottles.
These are long custody wines that reach their fullness between 5 and 10 years.
In the first century a.d., Pliny the elder in the XIV of its natural history book celebrates wine harvested on the slopes bordering the Ouveze virtues.
For two millennia, the village at the foot of Montmirail lace lives mainly the vines. Indeed, assigns to Julia Arausio (orange), the creation of the first wine-growing areas of Gigondas second Roman Legion, the first century b.c. the colonia founders veterans.
The primitive Gigondas name is the latin word JOCUNDITAS, which means “joy” and "joyful. It is two times attributed to Gigondas, in 951, in the Gallia Christiana novissima and three times in 1137, 1138 and 1151, in Richerenche cartulaire.
Obviously, this name was chosen by centurions, founding of the domain, when they recognized that its sunny slopes wines created a joyful and joy atmosphere.
Later, Gigondas which belonged to the princes of Orange as the twelfth century (see the meaning of the coat of arms), followed the fate of their house until in 1731, year where the Principality was incorporated into France.