Les Pallieres ‘Les Racines’ Gigondas 2007
Les Pallieres is one of the most dependable names in Gigondas. After many years in the hands of a single family, in 1998 it was purchased by the famous importer Kermit Lynch and the Brunier family of Vieux Telegraph. This is a wine that consistently brings both great depth of flavour and balance to the table, which is something that cannot be said of all wines from the Southern Rhone, particularly these days.
This particular bottle is also part of the story that is the 2007 vintage in the Southern Rhone, which Robert Parker, amongst others, has hailed as the best ever, or something like that. I’ve heard concerns that the wines are over extracted, terse, etc. But, if I’ve learned anything in my voyage through wine, opinions about vintage mean nothing outside of the particular context of site and producer. Great producers are those you follow through the good years and the bad – they make the sort of wine that is worth trying no matter what. For me, Les Pallieres is one of those wineries. The ‘Racines’ is made from a parcel of 60+ year vines and likely saw stem inclusion. The wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 7% Cinsaut and 5% Clairette.
Combining a great producer with what is supposed to be a great year, it is easy to understand why this is such an incredibly balanced wine. In fact, I would go as far to say that this is the most balanced Gigondas that I have ever tasted. There is both tremendous flavour here, but also pert acidity and great expressivity. The flavours are all classic Pallieres – licorice, underbrush, cherry, violets – but there is greater depth and intensity than usual. This is also in no way over extracted or overly rich: it is, in fact, very fresh. It is important not to forget the minerals and earth that guide all the fruit and provide great interest to the mid-palate and finish. This is probably the best Pallieres I’ve ever tasted, and that’s saying a lot given it is one of my favourite wines from the Southern Rhone.
$40 at Marquis