2018 Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Les Hautes Garrigues (750ml) Pre-Arrival15 2 0 0
"It's no exaggeration to say that well-traveled Benjamin Gras is crafting some of the most elegant and soulful wines in the Southern Rhône." - Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate)
"The young yet obviously talented Benjamin Gras continues to make an elegant, beautifully balanced style of wine from this benchmark estate in Gigondas, which now also produces a handful of terrific Châteauneuf du Pape. He’s made the most of the 2018 vintage, and these are impressive wines." -Jeb Dunnuck
Domaine Santa Duc's history stretches back to 1874. Through five generations, the Domaine's caretakers demonstrated a respect for the land, with Santa Duc ascending to prominence as a pioneer of organic viticulture in the region under the care of its indomitable vigneron, Yves Gras. The wines cultivated by Gras typify classic Gigondas—elegant, focused, polished. In his 32 years, Gras branched out to nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Rasteau, creating wines of exceptional balance and quality. He seamlessly integrated fruit born from the distinct soil types into harmonious cuvées representing the Southern Rhône Valley's unique terroir. In the 2017 vintage, Gras' son, Benjamin, assumed Domaine Santa Duc's helm, making his mark immediately by introducing biodynamic farming techniques and constructing a new winemaking facility on the property. The Estate wines are Ecocert-certified organic and Demeter-certified biodynamic. He works exclusively with indigenous yeast; the wines are partially destemmed respectively of vintage and parcel and aged for 18 months in 36-hectoliter oak Stockinger foudres and 8-hectoliter terracotta amphorae. Benjamin executes with a thoughtful simplicity that leads to purity of expression in his wines.
"A 50-50 blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre this vintage, the 2018 Gigondas Les Hautes Garrigues is more open and approachable than the somewhat dense and closed 2017. Floral hints of garrigue appear on the nose, and the fruit is less concentrated and suppler, making it easier to drink now. Mixed berries mark the full-bodied palate, framed by silky tannins and bright acids, leading into a long, mouthwatering finish." 96 points - Joe Czerwinski (Wine Advocate, Oct. 2020)
"The flagship is 2018 Gigondas Les Hautes Garrigues and is another red from this estate that does everything right. Deep ruby/purple-colored with a brilliant bouquet of ripe wild strawberries, blueberries, ground pepper, garrigue, and new saddle leather, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, flawless balance, and building yet seamless tannins. It’s certainly in the new style of this estate and is beautifully done. Enjoy bottles anytime over the coming two decades." 96 points - Jeb Dunnuck (Oct 2020)