The Saurel family, led by Joel and Amie, along with their son Romain, are the driving force behind Domaine Saint-Damien. Since 1821, the family's love for vineyards has been passed down from generation to generation. For many years, they sold all their grapes to negociants. However, in 1996, Joel decided to resume winemaking at the estate. In 2012, they were awarded Agriculture Biologique certification for their vineyards, a testament to their commitment to organic farming. Their traditional method of vinification involves fermenting wines in large, old cement tanks and then ageing in either cement tanks or large old foudres for the Gigondas.
Described by Jeb Dunnuck as "an absolute blockbuster of a wine that's up there with some of the best Gigondas made", the 98 points he awards to the La Louisiane is his highest-ever score for this wine. On the Les Souteyrades, he's equally effusive, stating it is "also utterly brilliant... another sensational Gigondas to enjoy over the coming two decades" - 97 points.
With notes like that and scores to match, these wines are a no-brainer at £22.50 IB a bottle, so do let me know if you would like to order, and I can confirm, subject to availability.
ETA is Summer 2023.
£135 IB (6x75cl)
Moving to the 2020s, the 2020 Gigondas La Louisiane is an absolute blockbuster of a wine that's up there with some of the best Gigondas made. Based on 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, and the rest Cinsault and Syrah, raised all in foudre, its deep purple hue is followed by a kaleidoscope-like array of kirsch, blackberries, ground pepper, violets, sandalwood, and other assorted Provençal-like aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, concentrated, and flawlessly balanced, I love its tannins, and it has a stacked mid-palate as well as a great finish.
£135 IB (6x75cl)
The 2020 Gigondas Les Souteyrades is also utterly brilliant. Giving up lots of kirsch liqueur, orange blossom, ground pepper, and herbes de Provence-like aromatics, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness and a layered, seamless, elegant mouthfeel that has awesome tannins as well as purity of fruit. It's another sensational Gigondas to enjoy over the coming two decades.