"One of my favorite estates in the world (and I put my money where my mouth is), Domaine Giraud has been impeccably run since 2001 by Marie Giraud, with consulting advice from Philippe Cambie. The style here is a mix of traditional and progressive winemaking, with the Grenache almost always brought up in tank and the Syrah in barrel. The Les Gallimardes cuvée comes from a tiny parcel of very old vines in the southern part of the appellation, and it’s always a more classic, Provençal, sexy wine. The Les Grenaches de Pierre comes from more sandy soils, and it’s always slightly more refined and elegant, yet it rarely, if ever, lacks for richness and depth. ..." - Jeb Dunnuck
“I generally prefer to let my reviews on wines stand as my opinion on the efforts of a winemaker and/or owner. In this case though, I offer this addendum, as I have been visiting with the Girauds for over a decade now: These are special wines, emblematic of the recent generational shift in Châteuneuf-du-Pape. They are seductive wines that are also meant to age, and offer a beautiful expression of their terroir. And they are made by special people.” - James Molesworth, Wine Spectator
Mr. Dunnuck and Mr. Molesworth are absolutely correct. Domaine Giraud is one of the finest estates in Chateauneuf-du-Pape at present. This is a property and family that are turning out some of the finest wines of the region: wines of the moment and wines that are redefining Chateauneuf. They are lovely people, thoughtful, passionate, and planning for the future.
There are plenty of great estates in Chateauneuf-du-Pape but there are only two properties that I will blindly follow no matter the vintage: Isabel Ferrando’s St. Prefert and Domaine Giraud.
The brother and sister team of Francois and Marie have taken Giraud to the most consistent and refined of Chateauneuf. Much like St. Prefert the special cuvees are tremendous and some of the most sought after and expressive terroir driven wines today, garnering the highest praise from the wine press. However, it is the classic Chateauneuf that lays the stage for the beauty of this estate. The quality is breathtaking, the wine is simply delightful. It is a wine that does not impressive by its sheer power and density, but rather its amplitude, length, and nuances, which is due in part largely to the vine age of 50 to 80 years farmed organically.
Les Gallimards and Grenache de Pierre are a comparison of 100 year old Grenache. Les Gallimards is from south of the village based on clay limestone soils with a dash of Syrah, while the Grenache de Pierre is pure Grenache from north of the village from parcels of sandy soils in the famed Pignan, Mourre de Gaud, and Charbonnieres.
Gallimards delivers the classic Chateauneuf that ranges from seductive stoney dark fruit to meaty earth power. Yet, Giraud’s expression brings about personality and depth that can easily be missed by many. Grenache de Pierre is perhaps the most Rayas-like wine made in the region outside of Rayas. The floratiy and intensity of Grenache de Pierre is what strikes me each vintage, yet unlike Rayas, I find perfect balance in Grenache de Pierre and not a wine that is over the top. All in all, the wines of Giraud are superb. The Chateauneuf Tradition is one of the absolute best buys of the region. The Grenache de Pierre is a modern hedonististic delight and Les Gallimards is the epitome of Chateauneuf today. These are all wines that I will happily place at the top of the category, no matter the vintage.