28th Oct 2016 | The Wine Advocate
Vintage Wines RP48b6e28011184b478c625d7520b4ffb9_bosquets1
2009 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas le Lieu Dit 95
2012 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas le Lieu Dit 95
2013 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas La Colline 95
2010 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas le Lieu Dit 94+
2011 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas le Lieu Dit 94

Domaine des Bosquets has been in a state of transition since the young Julien Bréchet took over the estate in 2006, and this up and coming superstar didn’t waste any time implementing his own ideas. Since coming on board, there’s been a shift towards later harvests, lower yields, slightly longer macerations, more site-specific vinifications and just an overall trend towards fine tuning everything the estate does.

And bigger is not always better here; Julien also pulled back on the amount of saignée (which is the removing of some juice during fermentation to increase concentration) in some wines, and stresses elegance and purity every bit as much as he does texture and weight. In addition, the estate has been aided by well-known Rhône oenologue Philippe Cambie since 2004.

The estate itself, which can track its history back to 1376, covers 26 hectares of mostly old Grenache vines. The vineyards are located in prime Gigondas real estate and consist of north-facing, limestone marl and sandy soils located at an altitude of 300-400 meters. There have been new plantings recently, so I expect the size of the vineyards to grow slightly.

The vineyard of La Colline.6ac93a0f7c3c4197b258c1560842bc95_bosquets2

As to the wines reviewed in this retrospective, the estate makes three Gigondas cuvees. The traditional Gigondas is based on roughly 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, and it is completely destemmed and aged in concrete, old barrels, and in some cases demi-muids. This is a terrific classic cuvée that has plenty of Gigondas charm, yet leads with fruit.

In 2009 Julien created the first of two special cuvées, the Le Lieu-Dit. This cuvée comes from a small parcel of very old vines planted in the sandy soils just beside the estate. This is cooler terroir surrounded by trees, and it’s the last parcel to be harvested. The cuvée is primarily Grenache and is aged all in old Burgundy barrels and demi-muids. This cuvée has seen a significant change in style and has moved from a very ripe, blockbuster-styled cuvée in 2009 to a more Burgundian, elegant and seamless style today.

Lastly, Julien created the second special cuvée called La Colline in 2013. This comes from a small, contiguous parcel of a larger, higher elevation vineyard. It’s mostly Grenache (there’s some Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault), from crazy low yields (eight hectoliters per hectare in 2013), and is completely destemmed and aged in demi-muids (there were only four barrels made in 2013). Where the Le Lieu-Dit cuvée is all about finesse and elegance, this beauty has some real oomph and is a big, rich, sensationally textured Gigondas. They’ve only made this cuvée twice, but it’s destined to be one of the greatest wines in the appellation.

Truthfully, the sky is the limit at this fabulous estate.

Thanks for reading.

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