Domaine Gramenon, Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas ‘L’élémentaire’ 2018

£19.00 (75cl)

Only 18 left in stock


About the wine



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45 years old vines (75% Grenache, 25% Syrah) cultivated with biodynamic farming methods. Sand and pebbles packed into a clayey-sandy soil matrix. Sorted manual picking. 15 days maceration in concrete tanks. Partially de-stemmed clusters. Fermentation with natural yeasts. Light addition of sulfite after malolactic fermentation depending on vintages. Partly in tank and barrels during 8 months.

About the producer

Founded in 1976 by Philippe Laurent and Michèle Aubéry-Laurent, Domaine Gramenon lies in the heart of the Drôme Provençale in Montbrison-sur-Lez, surrounded by 25 hectares of vines and olive groves. The vineyards are planted on a limestone plateau, 300m above sea level, which brings a purity and freshness to the wines. Unfortunately, Philippe passed away from an accident in 1999, so Michèle was joined by her son Maxime-François. Together they aim to keep the identity of each plot of land, which gives birth to their ‘cuvées’. Since the start, the vines have been cultivated with a natural, organic approach. The soil is worked mechanically in both Spring and Summer, with an additional manual hoeing on some plots. Only copper and sulphur are used against oidium and mildew.

All vines are sustained with traditional bioorganic preparations. The domaine is certified biodynamic. The fermentation is conducted without SO2 and only with natural yeasts. Depending on the vintage, the ageing is either carried out in vats to keep the freshness of the fruit and most expressive aromatics or in used oak barrels to refine the tannins. No new oak barrels are used. No fining or filtration prior to bottling. The aim is to produce wines that truly reflect their terroirs with purity and authenticity.

Maxime-François has also created a small wine merchant business in partnership with a neighbouring vigneron, whose vineyards are certified organic. The clay-limestone subsoils, combined with the location of the vines, tend to produce staunchly fruit-forward wines. Crafted in the most natural way possible, Maxime releases his particular cuvées under his own name.

Regions Vintage Report:

A year defined by a very wet spring but a warm and dry summer with very different results. The whites have generally less alcohol and are successful across the region while the reds, more affected by the climate, express a multitude of styles. Once again the yields were low and a few producers hardly made any wine! The North The region wasn’t as badly affected by the rain and being located on steep hills many of the best vineyards have great drainage potential. There was a little mildew but quite limited compared to the South and the yields are correct. The whites are fresher than 2017, rich, aromatic but with good tension. The reds are concentrated but balanced with enough structure to guarantee ageing. Their ripeness makes them charming and very appealing already but, thanks to the concentration due to the relatively low yields, they are not light and the best examples will age very well. Overall it’s an extremely good vintage with a few exceptional wines. The South The year was complicated: the rain started late March and didn’t stop until June. Working in the vineyards was very difficult; treating against the diseases like mildew was a real challenge that many organic but also conventional producers lost resulting in very low yields. Some vineyards and appellations were more affected, especially when there is a large clay content in the soil. Fortunately the summer was dry, quite hot, and the healthier vines produced nicely ripened fruit. The wines are generally charming and very appealing now without a huge concentration of tannins but they have good balance and enough structure to age, especially for the better vineyards and the east of the region, less affected by the weather. Knowing about the difficulties encountered by the producers I was pleasantly surprised by the high quality of the wines, many showing delicate and charming styles with early potential. They are not as rich and powerful as the 2015, 2016 and some of the 2017 vintages but will be more satisfying to many drinkers, especially when consumed young as it so often happens. Christian Honorez, Director February 2020 ©adVINture 2020

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