Located in the north of Gigondas, Les Pallieres is one of the oldest properties in the Southern Rhone. Established in the 15th century, it had been in the hands of the Roux family for more than 500 years and was once famous for wines of impeccable character, yet the property had slowly fallen into disrepair. By 1998, the Roux brothers, who had no future successors to take their place, decided to sell the domaine to Daniel and Frédéric Brunier, the owners of the acclaimed Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. After decades of neglect, Pallières’ renaissance had begun. Terraces were built and reinforced, allowing for better water retention. A new winery was built to receive the harvested parcels individually in gravity-fed tanks. But the primary focus of the new team was the terroir and the ways to achieve its best expressions. Les Pallieres vineyards, ranging from 250-400 meters in altitude, with varying proportions of sand and clay interwoven with limestone scree, were separated into two lieux-dits. Since 2007 two cuvées are made, each showing a distinctive character. Cuvée Terrasse du Diable originates from the higher altitudes and expresses great structure and intense minerality. Cuvée Les Racines showcases the vineyard parcels surrounding the winery — the origin of the domaine with the oldest vines (70 years old on average) – and shows depth and harmony that define old Grenache, cultivated in refined terroirs.

 

“The team’s focus on improving the viticultural and winemaking work here has paid off big time, as their wines must be counted among the best of the appellation and, in fact, the entire southern Rhône Valley” (Antonio Galloni, Vinous).

 

Both blends are predominantly Grenache, with some Syrah, Cinsault and a small proportion of Clairette. After hand harvesting the grapes undergo a double sorting procedure and are partially destemmed and pressed gently by pneumatic press. All wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled cement cuves and wooden vats. Les Racines is aged in cuves for 10 months, then in foudres for 7-9 months. As for Terrasse du Diable, it spends 10 months in cuves and 12 months in foudres. Wine is bottled unfiltered and is released two years after the harvest.

 

“This estate is one of the standard-bearers in Gigondas. The two cuvées, Terrasse de Diable and Les Racines, are standouts in the appellation. Élevage is strictly in foudres, allowing the differences in vine age and site to shine through clearly” (Joe Czerwinski , RP Wine Advocate).