Just to the west of town, this Domaine has since 1998 been under the stewardship of brother and sister team of Marie and Francois Giraud, whose lineage in winemaking on their father’s side stretches back six centuries. Their parents, Pierre and Mireille had started in 1974 as tenant farmers and gradually built up holdings of their own. The first bottled wine from the estate was produced from vintage 1981 after Marie’s family distillery was converted into a winemaking facility.
The estate – totaling 35 hectares - has extraordinarily well-situated vineyards of mostly old vines on the plateau of le Crau, Gallimarde and in the Pignan region. The Gallimarde parcel is particularly cherished, being a continuous block of 8 hectares planted with century old Grenache and Mourvèdre, in addition to some younger Syrah vines planted on soils richer in clay. The rest of the estate is spread across various parcels over the northern parts of the appellation.
The estate has been organic since 2011. Fermentation is in stainless steel and concrete tanks. Grenache and Mourvedre go into concrete tanks for aging, but the Syrah goes into French oak.
The cuvee Tradition is made up mostly of Grenache. The Les Gallimardes rouge cuvee is from an old parcel in the south that has long been owned by the estate planted to 100 year old Grenache and some Syrah, with several white varieties, planted on clay limestone soils, with each variety being vinified separately. Covered in galets, this soil gives a typically authentic Chateauneuf of power and concentration. The Les Grenaches des Pierre bottling comes from very old Grenache planted in sandy soils on le Crau and in Pignan. The wine is a homage to their father Pierre. The wine combines power and finesse.
Lastly the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Grenaches de Pierre offers slightly more purity and elegance yet certainly doesn’t come up short on power or concentration. Stunning black cherries currants underbrush ground pepper and earthy rocky mineral notes all give way to a deeper darker rich concentrated wine that’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. It will see its 20th birthday in fine form.
Drawn from sandy soils in the lieux-dits of La Crau and Pignan the all-Grenache 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Grenaches de Pierre features wiry herbal threads sewn into a fabric of tart cranberries and raspberries. It's full-bodied and tannic needing a few years to loosen up. Ultimately it should reward the patient with a complex silken tapestry of flavors.
This is packed with steeped raspberry and blackberry fruit flavors laced with hints of mulling spice incense and rooibos tea. The fine-grained finish reveals alder and garrigue echoes. Shows a lovely mouthfeel throughout and latent depth on the finish. Best from 2021 through 2036.?J.M.