Santa Duc Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes 2016

Josh's Favorite Cotes du Rhone: 2016 Santa Duc Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes

SOLD OUT! Santa Duc is one of the reference-point estates of Gigondas.

In great vintages like 2016, their Old Vine Cotes du Rhone punches way above its weight class delivering Gigondas-like style and class at a more-than-fair price.

Santa Duc Cotes du Rhone 2016

2016 Santa Duc Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes

‘Baby Gigondas’ At The Best Price in the Country!


In case you forgot, Vintage 2016 is one of the best of all time in the Southern Rhone. Wine Spectator said: “This truly rare vintage is a new benchmark. The growing season was warm during the day but cool at night, with an unusually large diurnal swing that led to slow, even ripening across all varieties while maintaining acidity. Reds are laden with fruit, yet extremely racy and fresh in feel.”

Trust me, this is no simple, bistro-styled Cotes du Rhone. It’s charming for sure, but there’s a lot more going on here. The Grenache foundation provides luscious red fruit, the Syrah and Mourvedre contribute structure, darker fruits, and spice, and the Carignan/Cinsault/Counoise add floral and herbal notes. Fuller-bodied and more structured than most Cotes du Rhones in this price range, this really drinks more like a fresher and juicier Gigondas.

And it makes sense, as Santa Duc has long been hailed as one of the Blue Chips of Gigondas. And father and son Yves and Benjamin Gras believe their 2016’s are the best wines they’ve ever made. That’s saying something, as the winery was founded in 1874! It was Yves Gras however that really propelled Santa Duc to the upper echelon of Southern Rhone producers. He oversaw the winery’s conversion to organics, he started fermenting with indigenous yeasts, and he made the decision to bottle their wines unfiltered. All of these decisions have contributed to Santa Duc’s many successes.

If you have enjoyed other 2016 Rhones I’ve offered up, I guarantee you’ll love this one. My advice — get at least 6 bottles. Enjoy some this summer with anything off the grill and lay a few down for 5-7 years as this has near-term cellar potential. I bought every bottle my distributor had in stock and with this sharp pricing, I doubt it will stick around for long.

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville


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