When it comes to Gigondas, one could make a compelling case that Saint Damien is the best. Since Table Wine opened in 2010, I have happily been selling these wines to Southern Rhone aficionados, and I can't think of a vintage where their wines didn't shine. Vintage 2019 is no exception, and the year produced classic, concentrated wines that retained wonderful purity of fruit.
I had the chance to taste barrel samples of all three of these a couple months back. I can report with 100% certainty that they are all stuffed with classic Southern Rhone character, yet they each have unique personalities. My advice is to get some of each. All three of the wines will offer great drinking now, but they'll just get better over the next 10-15 years.
Up first and always one of the finest Gigondas values on the market is the 'Cuvee Classique Vieilles Vignes,' an 80/20 blend of Grenache and Mourvedre. The components of this wine come from lower lying, rocky sites close to the winery, and this will offer wonderful drinking over the next 10 or so years.
2019 Saint Damien Gigondas 'Vieilles Vignes'
93 points Jeb Dunnuck, 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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"Deep purple/ruby hued, with a beautiful perfume of black raspberries, candied flowers, and sweet garrigue, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a silky texture, great tannins, and plenty of length on the finish. This is a more finesse-driven, silky, elegant wine than past vintages and it's going to drink nicely for over a decade." - Jeb Dunnuck
Always one of the estate's most coveted wine is their Les Souteyrades, a single vineyard bottling. Based on a blend of 80% Grenache (planted in 1948) and 20% Mourvedre (planted in 1977), this is always one of the more exotic and aromatic Gigondas' out there. There's typically a delightful orange blossom and violet note, and it's certainly present in the '19.
2019 Saint Damien Gigondas 'Les Souteyrades'
96 points Jeb Dunnuck, 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Also showing considerable elegance, the 2019 Gigondas Les Souteyrades sports a ruby/purple hue to go with beautiful and exotic notes of black raspberries, kirsch, candied orange, violets, and peppery garrigue. Beautifully balanced, medium to full-bodied, and downright silky on the palate, this heavenly Grenache should be snatched up by readers. It's going to keep for 15 years." - Jeb Dunnuck
Last but not least is the riper and more opulent 'La Louisiane' bottling, also a single vineyard wine based on 80% Grenache (planted in 1942), 15% Mourvedre (planted in 1977), and the balance in Syrah and Cinsault. This south-facing site captures lots of sunshine, and the grapes rarely have any trouble reaching full ripeness.
2019 Saint Damien Giogndas 'La Louisiane'
96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2019 Gigondas La Louisiane hails from a south-facing slope of clay and sand and is a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah and Cinsault, all aged in foudre. Loaded with black cherries and mixed berries, it's a big, full-bodied effort that drinks surprisingly well already yet has the concentration, length and structure that should enable it to age another 15 years or more." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
All three of these wines love cooler weather, hearty fall and winter fare, and great friends. Roast some lamb, build a fire, and enjoy yourself while you enjoy a bottle of Saint Damien Gigondas. Cheers to happy drinking and eating in Asheville!
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville