Racines is made with grapes from the domaine’s very old vines, planted mainly round the winery at about 200m altitude. Grenache dominates the blend (> 80%) alongside Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette. This cuvée epitomises the heart and origins of the estate, with an average vine age exceeding 80 summers!
The Racines cuvée, which flows from the estate’s very old vines, possesses the velvet, depth and harmony of old Grenache when cultivated on refined terroirs. It has very high ageing potential, with balance being the prime factor.
Alcohol Grade: 13%
Aging/ Vinification: grapes are hand-picked, with double sorting at the vine, then a third sort in the winery. Gentle crushing and selective destemming, followed by 25-30 days’ traditional fermentation in temperature controlled concrete and wooden vats. Pneumatic pressing, then systematic malolactic fermentation. MATURATION: 20 months in French oak foudres (60 hl). Bottled unfined and unfiltered, then released at 2 years.
Aging potential: 10 years or more
Best to have it: 16ºC
Size: 750 ml
The Winery: Domaine Les Pallières
Domaine Les Pallières is undeniably one of the greatest, longest-running properties of the Southern Rhône–outside the village of Gigondas, woven into the foothills of the beautiful and brooding Dentelles de Montmirail. The domaine had been a continuously running farm within the same family since the fifteenth century! Les Pallières was once a famous domaine with wines of impeccable character, yet the property had slowly fallen into disrepair. Two great frosts of the twentieth century had killed off many of the olive and fruit trees, and both the winery and the vineyards were badly in need of repairs. By 1998, the Roux brothers wanted to make a change. With no future successors to take their place, they decided to sell.
The Brunier brothers, Daniel and Frédéric, of the famed Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, were rising stars in the Southern Rhône at the time, having distinguished themselves time and time again with world class wines. A casual discussion over lunch at Chez Panisse between Daniel and Kermit Lynch, the Brunier’s longtime American importer, spontaneously turned into a game plan to revive the faded jewel–Les Pallières. Though the competition to buy the domaine was fierce with very reputable names in the mix, the Roux brothers finally decided to sell to the Bruniers and Kermit. After decades of neglect, Pallières’ renaissance had begun.