Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières is a very old family estate run by brothers Jean-Pierre and Claude Roux, whose name comes from a place of pilgrimage visited by the Provencal people in the Middle Ages which was to protect them from the plague! The Domaine is based in Gigondas in the Southern Rhone wine region.
The old vines run deep in the chalky-clayey subsoil and are subject to the Trignon valley microclimate. The grapes are harvested by hand and crafted following traditional winemaking methods, including complete de-stemming. They plant grass between every second row to reduce yields, use organic fertilizer and avoid chemical treatments. They see organic farming as “inevitable” for themselves and their clients, although they still use systemic treatments in difficult years.
Gigondas. Often described as a little brother to Chateauneuf du Pape, this classic cuvee, issue of average 50 year old vines (80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah) from an outstanding vintage, is matured in vat for the most part, with 15% matured for up to 12 months in 2-3 year old French oak barrels. A classy nose of ripe black fruits is followed by hints of Garrigue herbs, licorice and cigar leaf, with a firm but elegant and complex finish, ending with rounded spicy notes. While airing of this Gigondas would not come amiss, there is excellent grip and structure, that together with underlying freshness will allow this beauty to develop.
Rasteau. 75% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault. Rasteau became an appellation in its own right in 2009, owing to the standout quality of its wines, with the Roux brothers at the forefront of quality. The domaine has 13ha of mature vines here, on plots of typical clay soils with an abundance of heat-retaining pebbles. The wine is aged predominantly in Cuvee with approx. 25% aged in French oak barrels of 3-5 years old. Intense purple color, with an intense and heady nose of blackberry, embellished with white pepper, cocoa and toast. An explosive palate offers ripe fruit and spicy, enduring tannins.
AOC Sablet Village. 60% Syrah & 40% Grenache. Sablet has become an area to watch! The Roux’s own some 16 hectares of vines, most of which are widely dispersed in Sablet, from the gravelly slopes of the Cheval Long through the sandier core of the commune and down to the Plan de Dieu on the other side of the river. The grapes are picked only when fully ripe and the emphasis here is on supple tannins and wine bursting with pure, silky, lightly spiced well-rounded fruit.
Lirac. 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah. In the department of Gard situated in the low hills along the right bank of the Rhone River in the Southern Rhone wine region. On the opposite riverbank is the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Lirac is one of the 13 crus of the Rhone valley family. The Roux’s have a total of 13 hectares on soil of large galets (large stones) and red clay on a bed of sand. On a sun-soaked hillside with 60 year-old vines. Hand harvested, severe sorting at the winery, destemmed and fermented in temperature-controlled tanks for 15 days then vinified in stainless steel. Bright dark purple color, aromas of raspberry and cherry, layered flavor profile on the palette of black fruits and licorice, well integrated tannins. Works well with small game, rabbit, pigeon or a magret of duck.