Yes, 2009 produced some really good wines in France! I clearly remember how excited vignerons were in many of the top growing areas. Here are 4 of our favorites from the southern Rhone Valley & one from Faugeres down in southern France….each epitomize true vineyard character, authenticity & soulful-ness.
2009 Gramenon “Sagesse”
In the past 10 years, Domaine Gramenon has catapulted into cult wine status. They employ organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyards, with a strong non-interventionist, surprisingly old fashion stance in the cellars. These are without a doubt some of the most sought after wines out of southern France. The 2009 Sagesse cuvee is produced from 60 year old Grenache vines grown in clay, limestone, gravel, sand soils & is as au naturale a red as you will likely have.
2009 Gallety “Cotes du Vivarais”
“The Cotes du Vivarais runs long the western flank of the Rhone & is a cooler and wetter climate than its neighbors across the river, but with a longer ripening season. Alain Gallety farms his fifteen hectares of vineyards organically, as he has done since the early 80’s. This is definitely a new age winemaking phenom well-positioned for stardom with wines of such brightness, density, and impeccable balance”
2009 Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras “Doucinello”
“All seventeen hectares rest on the great Plateau des Garrigues, where red clay, limestone, and the famous galets roulés, or rounded stones, impart a terrific intensity and depth to the wines. Given the aridity of the soil, the vines here are naturally prone to lower yields—this gives the wines their concentration and power. That Serge has been farming organically for years but has never sought certification says something about his philosophy. He is not looking to impress; only to make the best wines he possibly can. His wines have everything we love about the Rhône – wild and chewy with great notes of leather, spicy garrigue, and smoky, black fruit”.
2009 Leon Barral “Jadis”
Didier Barral is one of the champions of the biodynamic movement in France and is highly respected among his peers for his uncompromising respect for the environment in which he lives and works—meaning the entire ecosystem surrounding his vineyards. Didier’s red Faugères, grown in rugged schist soil, displays power, rusticity, and incredibly fresh, pure fruit. Treat it as you would the wines of Gramenon and Magnon—organic, living beings that demand care and respect. His 2009 Jadis is 50% Carignane, 30% Syrah & 20% Grenache.