Gramenon Cotes du Rhone l'Elémentaire 2018

This 2017 is deep, lush and brims with beguiling floral, stony scents and carnal richness. In the mouth it is compact to start then fans out beautifully with succulence.

Domaine Gramenon, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone Valley, France

Back in December 1978, a barn and 12 hectares of old vines in Montbrison was purchased by Philippe Laurent and Michèle Aubéry-Laurent. From the very first year, the full harvest was vinified and the first cuvee was issued in 1979, of which the cuvee earned “Ceps Centenaires”.
Time passed and further plantations have extended the surface of the vineyard, as well as the purchase of several plots of land (4.5 hectares) in 1999 on the terroir of Vinsobres. When Philippe accidentally passed on at the end of 1999, Michèle decided to keep up to job alone. Maxime-François, one of her three children, joined her in Gramenon in 2006 and started a little wine merchant business at the same time. In 2007, the purchase of a land on the high plateau of Valréas increased the total surface of cultivation up to 25 hectares.


The Terroir


The originality of the terroir in Gramenon comes from the limestone barrier (tidal system) formerly covered by the sea (86 million years ago).
The pushing from the Alps mountains have made sandy layers left by tides arise, together with a significant presence of limestone, a 550 m wide plateau thus formed at a little altitude, whereas clays have been left by the river system.

In The Vineyard


The vineyard has been cultivated since its creation in 1978 in a natural and organic way. Nevertheless, we felt we had to adopt Biodynamics techniques.
The first climatic accidents of the 2000s impacted the old vines vitality, leading us to use biodynamic techniques and we have been awarded the DEMETER Certification in 2010.
The revitalization of soils and the strengthening of the plant defense reactions immediately showed up and were quite persuasive.
We noticed a new energy rising up from our parcels.
We consider each piece of land to be specific and has its own identity.
The increased vitality shown on the parcel actually reflects in the wines’ quality.

The Vegetal


Grenache is the most adapted grape variety to our latitudes and expresses here with elegance and freshness.
This is demonstrated by the presence of many old vines parcels (aged from 50 to 120 years).
The combined influence of the wines’ age (and deep rooting) together with the specific nature of soils confer our wines a special and unique profile.
To maintain the outstanding quality of the vegetal heritage, each wine plant planted comes from the “massal” selection of the vineyard.

In The Cellar


 
The first idea is to fully respect clusters.

No crushing tools are used (pomace pump, spiral screw).
Grapes are put into concrete vats via a vibrating table and a conveying belt.
We add very little sufites only after the malolactic fermentation if need be.
Spring cuvées are aged in vats whereas old vines cuvées are matured in old barrets.
As purity remains the ever inaccessible and unrealistic target, we are just aiming at expressing the very best, without betraying the terroir and the grapes, while best adapting to the differences of the vintage