Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas
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Gigondas Address - Chateauneuf du Pape Soul
Forget everything you think you know about the best wine in the Southern Rhone. Raspail-Ay comes in with guns blazing year after year and challenges the heavy hitters of Chateaunuf du Pape for supremacy.
The formula for success is simple: Stellar location, decades of experience, and a process so old-school, they still use a small chalkboard to track fermentations.
Proprietor Dominique Ay, now in his 70s, is the 5th generation to helm this estate, and was almost single handedly responsible for elevating Gigondas to its current status.
His 19 hectare vineyard sits on the best terrior in Gigondas, arguably the best in the southern rhone. The contiguous block of vines sit on the mid-slope (read: Grand Cru) of the rugged clay and limestone terraces, with the famous Dentelles de Montmirail rock formation looming overhead.
He don't mess around with making "Villes Vignes" or "Cotes du Rhone". Domaine Raspail-Ay is the only wine he makes, getting his full attention, and the absolute best fruit from this prime location.
The fruit is entirely destemmed, which creates a purity and precision that is unmatched. Drinking beautifully now, it will come into its own in the next couple years, and will stand the test of time for the next decade and beyond.
Jeb Dunnuck, a protegee of Robert Parker, and the most highly respected Rhone critic in the world gave the 2019 vintage 94 points, and raved "the 2019 Gigondas is another great wine from this team. Incredibly complex notes of garrigue, flowers, leather, and mostly red fruits define the bouquet, and it’s medium to full-bodied, has ripe tannins, and offers about as much Provençal goodness as you can fit in a glass. I’m a buyer."
And if he's a buyer, you should be too.