As I have written before, Domaine Gramenon is one of the most respected producers in the Rhône. In Robert Parker’s book on the wines of the Rhône valley, he classified Gramenon in the same category as Beaucastel and Fonsalette.
In 1998, owner Phillipe Laurent nearly doubled the area of his vineyards by purchasing some 50 acres in Vinsobres. A year later, he died in a tragic accident and his wife decided to sell some 35 acres the Perrin brothers at Beaucastel. Today, Michelle Aubery-Laurent and her son Maxim-François continue to make wines in a pretty natural way, with sulphur dioxide used just at assemblage. Their vineyards are farmed organically, and they never filter or fine their wines.
Their wines are not very well known in the United States as they are available on a limited basis. I found Gramenon’s wines through Kermit Lynch’s newsletter. He described them as a pure expression of biodynamically farmed, old vine fruit with knock-out fruit flavors tempered by a core of strong minerality.
The Côtes du Rhône Blanc Vie on y Est 2008 is 100% Viognier from 25 year old vines. Aromatics of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle with mineral notes and a touch of smoke. On the palate, apricot, apple, pear and limestone. Complex, but there is also a persistent underlying, distinct note that is difficult to describe but seems to be characteristic of all of Gramenon’s wines. Good minerality and richness, but also elegant. Nicely textured with soft acidity. 13.5% alcohol. Imported by Kermit Lynch.
I thought this was yet another great wine from Domaine Gramenon. All of their wines are strongly recommended, but the Sierra du Sud and La Sagesse from the 07 vintage are stand outs in my opinion.
Other wines from Domaine Gramenon:
Domaine Gramenon Sierra du Sud 2007
Domaine Gramenon La Sagesse Côtes du Rhône 2007
Domaine Gramenon Les Laurentides Côtes du Rhône 2007