Introducing the Stunning 2010 Saint Jean du Barroux
My wife says I can talk a lot - she is probably right. "Don’t mention wine, history or cacti", would be her usual greeting at dinner parties (yes, we have them occasionally). No one however could possibly speak longer and with more passion, however, than the diminutive, brilliant Philippe Gimel. Visits to see Philippe and taste his wines (er..there are only three) can last upwards of four hours or more.."you're not in a rush, are you?", he might say upon entering his domaine. Philippe's estate is located on the flanks of Mont Ventoux (of Le Tour fame). He is a one-man crusade (sorry, history) for terroir and the potential of this forgotten appellation in the south of France. His wines are quite simply brilliant and 'punch' way above their weight. In fact, they are among the Rhone's finest. Below is a introductory offer on his exquisite 2010, along with a rather wordy tasting note from a certain American journalist.
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate 93/100
"The 2010 Lï¿½ Argile is a stunning blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Carignan and 5% Cinsault that's aged all in tank. Finesse-driven and elegant, with perfumed aromas of kirsch and sweet black raspberries, forest floor, licorice and dried flowers (rose petal), this perfectly balanced, harmonious red delivers a medium to full-bodied, seamless texture, fine tannin and building richness that emerges on the finish. Far from over the top, it shines for its balance and energetic feel much more than sheer richness and power. Give it another year or three in the cellar and enjoy it through 2022. One of the top estates in the Ventoux, Saint Jean du Barroux is run by the talented Philippe Gimel, who studied under Christophe and Isabel Sabon at Domaine de la Janasse" - Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate
The Cotes du Ventoux La Pierre Noire, the top wine of the estate, is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that spends upwards of three years in concrete tank prior to bottling. The name La Pierre Noire (meaning “black stones”) refers to the soil type, and the vines come from black stone soils and average 40 years in age. Finesse-driven and beautifully fine and elegant, it offers up a thrilling bouquet of kirsch, dried licorice, graphite, ground pepper and hints of underbrush in its medium to full-bodied, layered and nicely concentrated personality. As is common with Philippe’s wines, it excels both for its aromatic complexity and balance as much as for its richness and power. (The Wine Advocate)