The 2016 Saint Jean du Barroux La Source is a world class Ventoux Rouge if ever I’ve tasted one. The talented Philippe Gimmel, who trained at Chave, Beaucastel and Janasse, is making the some of the most thrilling wines in the Ventoux and some of the finest in the entire Rhone Valley.
Boasting intense and classic Provencal aromas and flavors along with silky, fine grained tannins, this stuff is an absolute knockout. And I managed to snag my distributor’s last 7 cases. Despite the fact that Jed Dunnuck called this “one of the top estates in the Ventoux,” Saint Jean du Barroux’ wines are still under the radar.
2016 Saint Jean du Barroux La Source
95 points Josh Spurling
Philippe Gimel founded his estate in 2003. Located near the ancient fortified town of Barroux, Philippe started with a few hectares and no cellar. When he saved enough to build a small cellar it also served as his home – every personal comfort was sacrificed for his vineyards and wines. His dedication and perseverance has certainly paid off. Today, he farms roughly 16 hectares without the use of any chemical sprays or fertilizers. He harvests and sorts by hand, ferments with native yeasts in cement tanks, and he only bottles after at least 18 months of aging.
In a fantastic Southern Rhone vintage like 2016, Philippe’s La Source cuvée drinks way above its price point. Keep in mind this is Gimmel’s entry level wine, but there is nothing entry level about this one. A blend of Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault, this one pours a deep ruby/purple color and offers up knockout aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, pepper, rocky minerality and spice. Full-bodied, seamless, layered and charming, this is a ton of wine for the money.
Smelling and tasting like a top-flight Gigondas or Rasteau, I bought my distributor out of this one. If you love silky and sensual Southern Rhones, buy as much of this as you can. It would pair beautifully with everything from steak and lamb to roasted vegetables and charcuterie.
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Table Wine Asheville