Pierre-Gaillard St. Joseph "Clos des Cuminaille" Rhône, France, 2017 (Rock Star)
Overview of the Wine
Pierre Gaillard began his career working for both Vidal Fleury and Guigal before he struck out on his own in 1985. Since then, both his reputation and his vineyards have expanded, mainly in the St Joseph, Côte Rotie and Condrieu appellations, but now also Cornas and an estate in the south-west, Domaine de Madeloc, where Banyuls and Collioure are produced. He was a key member of the Guigal team in the 80’s, helping create La Turque. Every time you open a bottle with his name on it you know you are going to get a thrilling, bristling expression of the site from where it came. There is no dead weight in the Gaillard cellar and each wine offers precision and purity of fruit. The quality of fruit he harvests, allied to his fine touch in the cellar, results in some of the most evocative, flavorsome, and stylish Northern Rhône wines available.
The Clos de Cuminaille is one of the most privileged sites of Saint-Joseph. It's an east-facing, walled, single vineyard on Chavanay's granite soils and it produces one of the most distinctive wines of the appellation each year. When Gaillard bought this three hectare site, he passed on the chance to buy the now renowned La Turque vineyard in Côte-Rôtie, a site that he had helped plant. He simply felt the Clos de Cuminaille was the better site--which gives you an idea of why it produces such special wines. The vines here are now almost 30 years old and a little more new oak (30%) is involved in the élevage. With its archetypal meaty, liquorice-y personality there's a step up in both intensity and complexity here although, again, the prettiness and accessibility of the vintage shines through. It's a delicious and aromatic wine offering fleshy, dark cherry and anise fruit and smoky mineral lift. The vines' cool northern exposition and Gaillard's delicate extraction have paid handsome dividends this year.
Grape / Blend
Chocolate, nutmeg type of nose with berries. Med+ body, med acidity, med round tannins. Dry palate with high mineral salty stones and cherries joining cassis. Strong and long finish is also full with both nose and palate flavors.