2020 Domaine La Bouissiere Gigondas

As Good as Gigondas Gets: 2020 La Bouissiere Gigondas

Domaine La Bouissiere is the original high-altitude estate in Gigondas, and their 2020 bottling is one for the ages. This will undoubtedly go down as one of my top red wines of 2024!

Brothers Thierry and Gilles Faravel take great advantage of the vines their father planted just after World War II, high up in the Dentelles de Montmirail. These cooler, elevated sites give us a classic Gigondas that emphasizes spice, mineral, and savory complexity, much like the Gigondas' from the days of yore.

In the words of rising star importer Lyle Railsback, the wine is "deliciously stuck in time." I love that quote, I love this "Mountain Gigondas," and I bought every bottle in the state. 84 bottles up for grabs. 

Domaine La Bouissiere Gigondas

2020 Domaine La Bouissiere Gigondas

97 points -- Josh Spurling 

I'm going to get right into my tasting notes, as I had a bottle of this just the other night with lamb chops. Gorgeous, deep ruby color, not quite opaque. The nose is quite striking, and that traditional, savory style is on full display -- crushed peppercorn, hot rock, and dried garrigue (rosemary, lavender, thyme) lead the charge. With air and swirling, the fruit comes out to play -- cherry, brambly raspberry, and blackberry are most prevalent. 

What I like most here is the wine's freshness and energy. Don't take that to mean it's light, because it's not....not at all. There's just a buoyancy to this wine that so many  Southern Rhones lack these days. The fruit is just-ripe -- not overripe, not jammy, not cloying. 

I yearn for the old style of Gigondas that smells and tastes like this rugged and magical spot in the Southern Rhone. La Bouissiere's Gigondas takes me there, one sip at a time, and it will do the same for you.

My buddy Nick Demos of Tryon Distributing tells a touching story about his visit to this iconic estate last year. After a grueling ride to the highest vineyards in Gigondas, Nick and others were greeted by some of the most dramatically beautiful and extreme vineyards in the world. Monsieur Faravel asked everyone to be quiet and "listen to the land." Nick had a nearly religious experience, and when you look at the picture below, I think you can understand why.

Vineyards at La Bouissiere

                                     Thierry Faravel below the Gigondas vines his father planted after the war.

Faravel's father Antonin started working for Pierre Amadieu in 1942, one of the great houses at the time, but he is most remembered as planting the most "mountain vines" in Gigondas in the 1960s. During his mornings, nights, and weekends, Antonin and his wife Geneviève began clearing brush and trees in the Col du Cayron hills below the Dentelles de Montmirail, at 500 meters elevation, using the natural geographic profile to marry vines to the slopes harmoniously-- without manipulating the terroir-- the more difficult way to plant in the mountains.

Antonin's sons carry on this tradition, and his intuition to plant these vines way up high is what gives this wine its nerve, its savory and spicy qualities, and its overall righteousness. I could go on and on  for days, but I'll wrap it up. This is the "good stuff," and I bought every bottle in the state of NC.

84 bottles up for grabs. First come, first served. You know what to do next!