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Domaine Saint Gayan
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Domaine St Gayan is owned by the delightful Jean-Pierre and Martine Meffre and they run the domaine with their equally charming son-in-law Christian Yves Carré. The farmhouse dates back to the 15th century and Gigondas wine was first produced at the property in the 18th century. The vineyards of Sablet and Rasteau came to the property via the wife of Roger Meffre.
Roger Meffre commenced the bottling of his Gigondas wines in 1956 and later, his son Jean-Pierre and daughter-in-law, Martine commenced bottling of their Rasteau, Sablet and Côtes du Rhône wines. In 1987 they acquired a very small parcel of vines in the north-eastern section of Châteauneuf-du-Pape via a very a beneficial swap of table wine land near the Ouveze river that the Châteauneuf-du-Pape owner wanted to buy for his son to develop as a campsite!
St Gayan cultivates a total of 34ha (84 acres) of vineyards with 16ha in Gigondas, 5ha in Rasteau, 1ha in Sablet, 0.75ha in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 10ha in Côtes du Rhône and 1 ha under the IGP designation.
The Gigondas parcels are spread across different sites but mostly on the northern sector of the appellation, with parcels on the raised plateau of marne, limestone and sand, and parcels on the more limestone-rich slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail hills. The oldest grenache vines are over 100 years old and reserved for the cuvées “Fontmaria” and “In Nomine Patris”. Their main Gigondas cuvée “Origine” is one of my benchmark Gigondas wines – fine tannins, dried red fruits, wonderful complexity and a long, lingering finish held together by a delicate minerality.
The wonderfully brooding Rasteau wine is cultivated from a very stony plateau that gets the full blast of the magical Mistral wind and displays the body and dark fruits that are typical of the appellation. The white Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet is exquisitely fresh (reflecting the sandy terroir of Sablet) and floral and is a delightful accompaniment to the fresh goat cheese of the region. The Côtes du Rhône rosé is everything you would expect from a Provencal rose – enchanting red fruits, freshness, and just enough structure to accompany summer provencal dishes. Last and certainly, not least is their Côtes du Rhône red which is a permanent resident of my cellar. This is a great wine at a criminally low price that benefits from at least three years of ageing before consuming.
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Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet White: Viognier, Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Clairette. Matured in stainless. Ageing potential: Up to 5 years.
Côtes du Rhône Rosé: Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. Matured in stainless. Ageing potential: Up to 3 years.
Côtes du Rhône: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan. Matured in concrete. Ageing potential: Up to 6 years.
Rasteau: Majority Grenache with Mourvèdre and Syrah. Matured in concrete. Ageing potential: Up to 9 years.
Gigondas “Origine”: Majority Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre. Aged in concrete and old demi-muids (600 litre oak barrels). Ageing potential: Up to 12 years.
Gigondas “Fontmaria”: Majority old vine Grenache with Syrah. Aged in concrete and one to two wine-old demi-muids. Ageing potential: Up to 15 years.
Gigondas “In Nomine Patris”: Over 100 yr old Grenache. Aged in concrete and foudres (large oak barrels). Ageing potential: Up to 20 years.
Châteauneuf du Pape: Majority Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre and others. Aged in concrete and one to eight wine-old demi-muids. Ageing potential: Up to 20 years.
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