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.
Still in concrete at the time of my visit the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Grenaches de Pierre looks to be another prodigious effort. Gorgeous aromas of stone fruit and ripe cherries mingle easily with intricate notes of garrigue and pine needles in a wine that's somehow full-bodied yet ethereal on the palate with a long tart almost cranberry-ish finish. As always it's sourced from old-vine Grenache in the sandy soils of Pignan Charbonnière and Mourre de Gaud all clustered northeast of the village of Cha^teauneuf du Pape.
Everything's in perfect harmony in this floral stunning red. Offers plum cherry cobbler incense and lavender supported by a line of racy minerality savory earth notes and cooling mouthwatering acidity. This has real energy driving the length with black tea and potpourri accents all seamlessly adding layers. Stunning. Best from 2025 through 2040. ?K.B.
The star of the show in 2020 is the 2020 Châteauneuf du Pape Grenaches De Pierre, a 100% Grenache cuvée from the Pignan and La Crau lieu-dits. One of the top wines in the vintage, it sports a translucent ruby/purple color as well as incredible aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, white truffle, flowery incense, and hints of bouquet garni. With full-bodied richness, a deep, layered mid-palate, ultra-fine tannins, and a long finish, it already offers pleasure today yet will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep through 2035 or so. It's one of those wines that brings richness and intensity yet with elegance and finesse.jd