2017 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas
2017 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas A beauty, and Southern Rhône lovers owe it to themselves to have bottles of Raspail-Ay in their cellar. A blend of 70% Grenache, 23% Syrah, and the rest Mourvèdre, brought up all in very old foudres, it offers a vivid ruby color as well as a smorgasbord of Provençal goodness in its kirsch, sappy flowers, incense, ground pepper, and obvious minerality. Reminding me of the 1990 with its sexy, charming character, this concentrated, perfectly balanced effort will drink nicely with short-term cellaring and keep for two decades. Unfortunately, no 2018 was submitted.
Domaine Drouhin Oregon is one of Oregon’s premier wine producers located in Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills AVA. The estate is owned by Burgundian producer Maison Joseph Drouhin and is operated by Véronique and Philippe Drouhin. The winery released its first vintage in 1988 and is known for its top quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Robert Drouhin recognized Oregon’s winemaking potential after a visit to the region in 1961, finally acquiring an unplanted 91-hectare (225-acre) piece of land in 1987. Now, the Dundee Hills property has 50ha (124 acres) of hillside vineyards planted mostly to Pinot Noir with about 10 percent planted to Chardonnay.
Vinification at Domaine Drouhin has been adapted from the family’s winemaking techniques at their Burgundian estate. Grapes are handpicked and handsorted at the four-level gravity-flow winery, then cold-soaked before a long, natural fermentation. Pinot Noir is aged in both new and neutral French oak barrels for up to two years, and matured for a further six to eight months in bottle.
Domaine Drouhin Oregon produces a rosé, two Chardonnays, and three Pinot Noir cuvées from barrels selected by Véronique. The estate’s top cuvée and flagship wine, Cuvée Laurère, is blended from the best Pinot Noir barrels from estate-grown fruit.