Tonight we opened the 2009 Domaine Gramenon, Cotes du Rhone, La Sagesse. A deep, intense nose of plum and boysenberry, with a cavalcade of spices including black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and a whiff of anise, along with gravel, garrigue and smoke. Blind I would peg this as a top quality, old school Chateauneuf…but most CdP producers stopped making wines like this after 1995 or so. On the palate, deep and rich, yet very well balanced, with rich, mouthfilling boysenberry and plum fruit, gravel, black pepper, smoke, clove, anise, and earthy notes on the slightly tannic finish. A plush texture on the front palate, but still a little grippy on the rear. It reminds me of a lot of the better late '80s/early '90s CdPs in style, before they got Parkerized, oaky and 16% alcohol. While absolutely delicious tonight, this wine could go another 10 years, no problem and should just smooth out and get more complex from here on out, as the longer it’s in the decanter the better it gets. Sadly, I only have one left. I’m always surprised by the lack of attention that Gramenon has gotten as the wines are very traditional, ageable, delicious, and they’re even “natural” wines, but without being funky and weird. Maybe they are expensive for “Cotes du Rhone”, but when they outperform most CdP…don’t worry about the appellation, just buy them. I don’t drink much Southern Rhone these days, but this brings back why I used to love a lot of them. If you’re going to buy serious Cotes du Rhone, there are really only two options…Gramenon and Clape. Approx…92-93.
I’ve had two bottles of 1995 Gramenon in the past few months, totally agree. Deserve more attention!
Chris, which bottlings? They used to make a lot less bottlings than they do now, I believe.
This was the Ceps Centenaires La Mémé (same bottle twice) which I think is/was their top bottling…? Won an 8 bottle lot at auction for ~$100/bottle and they have been in great shape.