Grapes: 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 5% balance of Cinsault and Syrah
Vine age: 73, 64 and 38 years
Terroir: Sandy clay, red old alluvium with broken cailloux
95+ Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Bottled in May, the 2017 Gigondas La Louisiane looks every bit as good as expected. Licorice, dark cherries and plums feature on the nose, while the full-bodied palate is silky and rich, just a wonderful balance of power and elegance. It should drink well soon after release and for at least decade thereafter.
St. Damien was an early Christian saint (martyred in the year 287 A.D.), considered the patron saint of doctors. There was a chapel to his honor in the tiny hamlet of La Baumette, just outside the village of Gigondas, where Joel Saurel lives. M. Saurel’s predecessors took the name Saint Damien for the domaine. Domaine St. Damien’s cuvées of Gigondas have become the reference for classic full-bodied yet fine Gigondas, with scores by all journalists being both consistent and high every vintage. Almost as popular as their high-scoring Giogondas cuvees, are their Côtes-du-Rhône bottlings for their intense concentration and tremendous value. Harvests are later and yields are low. Joel’s son, Romain is becoming more and more involved in the winemaking. Their goal is to produce Gigondas expressive of terroir, tradition, length and balance—in short, the best of Gigondas.