Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet: Domaine Saint Gayan 'L'Oratory' 2022
This superb white Côtes du Rhône Villages ‘Sablet’, called 'L'Oratory', is made from a blend of Viognier, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. It is fresh and dry, with ample apricot and peach flavours offset by mineral undertones.
Jean-Pierre Meffre, whose Domaine Saint Gayan is based in the Southern Rhône stronghold of Gigondas, is one of our longest-serving suppliers with an impeccable track record. This white Côtes du Rhône Villages from the village of Sablet, is a bit of a rarity – with red wines accounting for around 90% of production.
From free-draining limestone and sand-rich vineyards located at the bottom of the Dentelles de Montmirail (granite cliffs), the grapes in this blend all lend particular features to the wine. Viognier adds fruit, Bourboulenc acidity and vivacity, Clairette adds spice, Grenache Blanc adds oomph and Roussanne adds a creamy mouthfeel and body. Depending on the vintage, it comprises around one-third each Bourboulenc, Clairette and Viognier, with around 5% each Grenache Blanc and Roussanne.
|Style||White Wine, Sec, Medium-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Wine Region||Rhône, Côtes du Rhône|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier|
|Food & Wine Matching||Chicken and Turkey|
|Cellarage||Drinking beautifully now but will age gracefully for 3 to 5 years.|
|Vinification||The grapes are hand-picked at optimum ripeness from 50+ year-old vines and go through the process of malolactic fermentation before maturation on the fine lees before filtration and bottling.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||13|
Domaine Saint Gayan (Jean-Pierre Meffre)
The Meffres have been vignerons at Gigondas since the 17th Century and have played a key role in the success of the appellation. Roger Meffre (Jean-Pierre's father) was president of the Syndicat des Vignerons de Gigondas and was instrumental in winning Appellation Contrôllée status for Gigondas in 1971 and changing the law regarding the wine's Grenache content (raised from a maximum of 65% to 85% in 1985).
The 34 hectare Domaine Saint Gayan holds 12 hectares in their home village of Gigondas and is now run largely by Jean-Pierre and Martine's daughter Julie and her husband and winemaker Christian Yves Carré de Lusançay. It is one of the commune's finest estates and likely to release wines at their leisure, when ready to drink. Large oak barrels are mainly used for maturation though a number of clay amphorae have recently been installed. Whole-bunch fermentation is de rigeur.
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