2014 Domaine du Grapillon D’Or 1806, Gigondas, Rhone Valley Red, France.
The Grapillon D’Or estate, owned and run by the Chauvet family, is a traditional and one of the old school properties of Gigondas, making wines of character and authentic charms, less modern and more raw like, though deeply flavored, I’ve long been a fan of this winery, which in most years tastes close to a fine Chateauneuf du Pape. This 2014 gives an amazingly detailed performance, giving another reason to celebrate old world Grenache, delivering loads of pepper, leathery/earthy notes as well as dusty stones adding to the dense dark fruited core. The 2014 Domaine Grapillon D’Or 1806 starts with a dark berry fruit, meatiness, chalky stone as well as cracked peppercorns, with a deep garnet/red color in the glass, fresh in attack from the slightly cool vintage. The palate is full with a framboise/kirsch note leading to a sweet and savory mouthful of boysenberry, wild plum, strawberry and pomegranate fruits along with salted black licorice, lavender, all spice/herbs and gravel with touches of saline, currant jam and grilled meat. Everything unfolds in a sensual manner, darkly spicy and seductive, with no hint of wood or adornment, this is transparent and shows terroir purity, and the balance of earth, spice and fruit is near perfect, even in a less than perfect year, it’s bright and tangy, but sweet feeling, this is a delicious Rhone red wine. This vigorous Gigondas easily provides everything you’d want and maybe a bit more, drink over the next few years, best from 2019 to 2025 and maybe longer. Grapillon, founded in 1806, as the label makes clear, uses 100% destemmed grapes, 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, ferments in tank and ages mostly in used barrels with about 25% of the cuvee raised in cement vats, with all the grapes coming from older vine sites on a mix of clay, sand and limestone soils. This is grippy and thrilling stuff again from Domaine du Grapillon D’Or, and while people will be lined around the block for their 2015, an obvious must have from a great vintage, I will enjoy this 2014 which is highly entertaining, stylish and impressive with it’s vital focus, robust nature and layered Grenache(y) decadence and joyous pleasure.
($33 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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