"One of the superstars of the appellation, the 2012 Gigondas l'Argnee Vieilles Vignes is blockbuster material. Still in barrel and showing even better than last year, it boasts off-the-hook notes of kirsch, blackberry, dried soil and flowers to go with awesome depth and richness on the palate. Coming from sandy soils and pre-phylloxera Grenache vines, it has thrilling purity, ultra-fine tannin, a big mid-palate and terrific length. It’s a prodigious Gigondas that will have two decades of longevity.
One of the standout tasting while I working in the southern Rhône, the Perrin family, now largely under the helm of Thomas, Marc, Pierre, and Mathieu, continues to produce some of the top wines, at numerous price points, in the southern Rhône. Looking at this set of releases, the 2012s are incredibly strong, and given that, in general, the vintage was more challenging for Mourvedre due to water stress, I was amazed at what they were able to accomplish. The same can be said about their 2013s as well, and these wines transcend the vintage. The saving grace here is that Mourvedre excelled (truly special) in 2013. Another important point to consider is that the Perrins make multiple passes through each vineyard, sort again by cluster, completely destem all of the grapes, and then sort again. It’s this level of control that allows them to get awesome concentration and purity in these more difficult vintages.
It’s worth noting as well, this estate is increasingly investing in Gigondas, with ownership of one of the top restaurants in the area, L’Oustalet (don’t miss a chance to dine here), a small set of top notch rooms that can be reserved, and ownership of the Clos des Tourelles estate there as well. I opted to include the Gigondas reviews here as opposed to waiting on the Gigondas report, but these are some of the strongest efforts in the vintages. In addition to these southern Rhônes, they’ve branched out to the northern Rhône as well, with their Nicolas Perrin label. Those wines will be reviewed in the forthcoming northern Rhône report in Issue 216.
In short, this is a brilliant portfolio across the board. Also, going forward, the name Perrin et Fils has been changed to Famille Perrin." (WA)