Wines by Region / Southern Rhône / Domaine de Piaugier
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Domaine de Piaugier
|Charles Neal Selections||
Domaine de Piaugier
Domaine de Piaugier - Côtes du Rhône - Sablet
Domaine de Piaugier’s vineyards are located in and around the village at the foot of the jagged Dentelles de Montmirail in the Vaucluse department. Here Jean-Marc Autran, son, grandson and great-grandson of wine growers, produced his first wine in 1985. It was made in the cellars built in 1947 by his great-grandfather Alphonse Vautour. Alphonse, who along the slopes of the Briguières hill had made all his wine in the family's original property, called Ténébi, decided to build the present cave on the road leading up to that property.
Supported by his father, Jean-Marc increased the size of the domaine and developed the sale of bottled wine. Soon the cave was too small, and Jean-Marc decided to enlarge once again in 1995. Along with his wife Sophie, Jean-Marc now cultivates 30 hectares of vines as follows: 3.5 hectares of Gigondas, 12.5 hectares of Sablet, and 14 hectares of Côtes du Rhône.
The domaine has two great advantages: it is composed of a large number of small plots and therefore various soils, including sandy decalcified red clay, flint, clay, silt, chalk and gravel; and the vines—at between 25 and 50 years old—are in their full, rich, plentiful prime. The grapes are entirely hand-harvested, pressed and made into wine plot-by-plot. This safeguards their distinct and separate characteristics. The dominant grape is Grenache. Others include Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault, and Carignan, each planted with a density of 4,000 plants per hectare. The pruning is always true to the traditional royat or gobelets methods.
The wines are made from whole bunches. Leaves are removed but the bunches are not destemmed. The fermentation lasts from a week for the Côtes du Rhône to a month for the Sablet and Gigondas. Temperatures are strictly controlled, depending on the cuvée, at between 28 and 33 degrees Celsius.
The bottling of the red wines is done only once and, with the exception of the Côtes du Rhône, is not subject to fining or filtration.
Domaine de Piaugier “La Grange de Piaugier” Côtes du Rhône Blanc
A white Rhône field blend, with primarily Grenache Blanc, then Roussanne and Viognier, from argile-limono-sableuse soils. Aged only in stainless steel. Though unoaked, this rare white Rhône is complex and full-bodied, and there’s something for everyone here. Lovely aromas of spring flowers lead to a rich, almost oily palate, but the underlying fresh backbone makes it a food wine—try it with mushroom risotto.
Domaine de Piaugier Côtes du Rhône Villages-Sablet Blanc
Made with fairly equal parts of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Roussanne from sand, clay and silt-based vineyards. 35-year-old vines with an approximate yield of 35 hl/ha. Made with indigenous yeasts, barrel fermented and aged 8 months in barrels that have previously held 2 wines, with lees stirring once a week. Peachy, flowery aromas also with a slight touch of anise. Fruit forward yet focused, it’s a great match for pad Thai.
Domaine de Piaugier “La Grange de Piaugier” Côtes du Rhône Rouge
A Rhône field-blend, with primarily Grenache, then Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan from argile limono-sableuse soils. 20-year-old vines with a 50 hl/ha yield. 100% destemmed. Aged in cement tank, with a seven-day fermentation period, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Aromas and flavors of red and black fruits, along with hints of pepper, are clear from the first moment. An incredible value, one of the best in the book in fact,
Domaine de Piaugier Côtes du Rhône Villages-Sablet
75% Grenache and 25% Syrah, from sand, clay and silt soil. 25-year-old vines with a 40 hl/ha yield. 21-day fermentation period, with the Grenache in cement tank and the Syrah in 3- to 4-year old barrels. The wine is replete with black fruits and pepper and has a pleasant smoothness on the palate and finish that belies its underlying rusticity. Would be great with pork stew or jambalaya.
Domaine de Piaugier Côtes du Rhône Villages-Sablet “Tenebi”
100% Counoise, from clay, sand and silt based-soil. 55-year-old vines with a 40 hl/ha yield. Grapes are hand-harvested then undergo a 28-day fermentation period in cement tank, with no destemming. Matured in barrel for 2 winters and bottled in the spring without filtration. This unique grape variety has a profile all its own: boysenberry and cocoa marry perfectly with white pepper and notes of garrigues. Try it with cassoulet or smoked duck.
Domaine de Piaugier Côtes du Rhône Villages-Sablet “Briguières”
80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre grown on clay, silt and sand soils. 45-year old vines with a yield of 40 hl/ha. Manually harvested then pass through a 28-day fermentation period in cement tank without destemming. 20% of the wine matured in barrel for two winters, then blended and bottled in the spring without filtration. Aromas of cranberries, violet and exotic spices, and a rich and deep palate that calls out for French cheeses.
Domaine de Piaugier Gigondas
65% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah grown on clay soil with silt and sand. 40-year-old vines with a yield of 35 hl/ha. 28-day fermentation (at a higher temperature) in cement tank with no destemming. 20% of the wine is aged in barrel for two winters, then blended with the tank blend and bottled in the spring without filtration. This wine shows spicy red berry and cherry aromas along with cured meat and herbs. Lush and creamy, with dense dark fruit flavors, lightly chewy tannins and slow-building smokiness. An excellent partner for grilled lamb.