Clos Derrière Vieille
When the Clos Derrière Vieille is acquired by the Gras family in 1994, it had been barely cultivated. The former dairy still lies stately within the middle of the vineyards. In hard work, the terraces are restored to counteract erosion. The vines are planted in narrow terraces meandering in dense rows along the morphology of the steep limestone massif. Each grape variety was planted on a terrace to meet its demand for water: Syrah in damp soils and Mourvèdre in stony ones, Grenache in transitional zones. Located 350 meters above sea level, facing north-west, this special location with 6.5 ha of forest and 3.5 ha of vines offers a breathtaking view into the Rhone Valley. The nearby hospice and church gave it its name: Derrière la vieille ville (behind the old village). On the limestone soils of the Cretaceous, the wine develops a fine bouquet of fresh fruits and delicate, floral notes, supported by mineral freshness and fine tannins. An extraordinary taste experience that fully explains to what extent nature and the environment can give shape to a wine.
Origin: The Clos Derrière Vieille (behind the old village hospices) is naturally fenced by woods. Slope from 300 to 350 meters of altitude with a northwest exposure. Very slow ripening of the grapes: shadowed on the morning, bathed by the sun until sunset.
Varieties: 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah. The Syrah were planted on the richest areas, Mourvèdre on the better drained areas and Grenache on intermediate terraces.
Vinification: Hand picked with a very selective sorting, destemming, short and soft maceration. Soft punching-down.
Ageing: In recent casks (foudres) and terracotta jars during 18 months.
Terroir: Calcareous marl from Cretaceous period.
Jeb Dunnuck – “The 2015 Gigondas Clos Derrière Vieille (80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre) comes from the wall vineyard located just beside the village. It offers terrific notes of dusty earth, dried cherries and herbes de Provence, medium to full-bodied richness, silky tannin and a beautiful texture. Like the other 2015s, it’s going to drink nicely for 10-15 years.” (94 Pts)
James Suckling – “Mostly (80%) grenache with 10% each of mourvèdre and syrah. There’s a very impressive, sheer and crunchy texture to the palate and a peppery edge. Tannins drive a long, powerful finish. Best from 2020.” (94 Pts)
Vinous – “Deep ruby. Ripe raspberry, cherry liqueur, violet and a hint of garrigue on the deeply perfumed nose. Fleshy, appealingly sweet and expansive in the mouth, offering plush red and blue fruit flavors and a subtle note of candied licorice that builds in the glass. Becomes more energetic with air and finishes on a sweet red berry note, showing powerful thrust, harmonious tannins and impressive persistence” (93 Pts)