Domaine Saint-Damien is run by Joel and Amie Saurel. The Saurel family had been tending vineyards for four generations, dating back to 1821, and until recently selling all of the grapes to negociants. In 1996 Joel resumed producing wine at the estate and in 1998 they brought on consulting winemaker Philippe Cambie. Vinification is classic with wines being made in large old cement tanks and aged in either the tanks or large old foudres for the Gigondas. Today the estate is comprised of 42 acres of vineyards of which 30 are in Gigondas. The vines are an average age of 50 years and are very low yielding.
La Louisande is from a single parcel of Grenache planted in 1942, Mourvèdre planted in 1977 and Cinsault/Syrah planted in 1951. The parcel is not far from the estate.
Light crimson in color. 15% ABV. Highly perfumed nose of red fruits, grilled meats, flowers and pepper. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Well balanced. Lean and somewhat rustic with a sense of power and concentration. Cherries, spiced plums, kirsch, pepper and minerals on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Elegant, classicly styled Gigondas that drinks well now. Best over the next 2-4 years.
My rating: 93 points.
I’d been wanting to try this wine for a long time. I can see now what the hype is about. Well made and a great value. I’ve already bought the highly acclaimed ’17 version but will give it at least five years in the cellar. You should be able to source this for under $40 per bottle. Thank me later!