2016 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvee Vieilles Vignes

Year: 2016
Appellation: Rhone Valley
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 92
Jeb Dunnuck: 95
Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
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"The 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. On the nose, it's flowers and spice, hinting at violets but also cinnamon and clove. Medium to full-bodied, it's crisper than many Gigondas this vintage, with cherry, cranberry and pomegranate flavors framed by fine-grained tannins. It should drink well at least through 2030. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.

Set in a small, elevated valley in the southeastern portion of the Gigondas appellation, Domaine du Grand Montmirail is essentially in its own little microclimate, shielded from the heat of the afternoon sun. The vineyards were extensively replanted after the killing frost of 1956 on a range of soils and stony terraces. Since 1980, it's been owned by the Cheron family. All of the grapes are destemmed, and oak is occasionally employed but generally only for the Syrah lots. There are stunning views up to the Dentelles and down to the valley below from the family house, where Yves Cheron and Jerôme Cartier showed me the latest releases from the domaine and additional wines under the Yves Cheron labels. Although I was unable to taste any 2008s, bottles of the Gigondas Vieilles Vignes from 2013 (89), 2011 (92) and 2009 (92) are evolving as expected. I'd drink up any remaining 2009 or 2013 bottles, but the silky, supple 2011 will probably drink well for another five years." (WA)

"Bright ruby. Expressive aromas of ripe red berries and candied flowers; an intriguing suggestion of apricot emerges as the wine stretches out. Smooth and lush in the mouth, offering Chambord and cherry cola flavors energized by a jolt of peppery spices. Finishes sweet, gently tannic and very long, leaving floral pastille and raspberry notes behind." (VM)

"The finest wine ever from this estate is the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, which is 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre that was destemmed and brought up in 30% new barrels. (The Grenache was brought up all in concrete.) It’s an incredibly gorgeous, full-bodied, powerful yet elegant Gigondas that has rocking notes of plums, black raspberries, kirsch, spice, and new saddle leather literally soaring from the glass. With ultra-fine tannins, a silky, seamless texture, no hard edges, and a great, great finish, it’s a wine to buy by the case." (JD)

"Muscular and commanding, this bold, voluminous wine offers concentrated but pristine blueberry and plum flavors. It's creamy and expansive on the palate, its curves framed by soft, sinewy tannins and yielding acidity. Drink now–2026." (WE)