Inky New Organic Rhône Reds: 93 points, “Succulent,” “Velvety”

Organic viticulture is the future of winemaking — the majority of our winemakers are organic or in conversion. But at some domaines, it’s also the past. The Domaine du Joncuas in Gigondas turns 100 years old next year, and they’ve practiced organic winemaking, as they put it, “depuis toujours” (“since forever”).

Joncuas wines prove at least one thing about organic winemaking: it works. We stumbled across Joncuas this spring, and they’re one of the most exciting additions to our portfolio we can remember.

We’re thrilled to introduce their wines today: 2017 Vacqueyras and 2016 Gigondas.

Sisters Dany and Carole Chastan are third generation vigneronnes practicing old-school winemaking — whole clusters, limited sulfur, all wild yeasts. They use no new oak, and neither fine nor filter. Their wines are juicy and deep and very expressive, with gorgeous fruit. For readers familiar with our portfolio, combine the ethos of Foulaquier or André with the terroir of Goubert.

Their 2017 Vacqueyras is bold and meaty. It’s 80% grenache, and the rest Syrah and Mourvèdre. The nose bursts with distilled red fruits and spice, lavender, and earth. The mouth is rugged and smooth with excellent length and notes of tapenade, bay leaf, plums and licorice. It’s twice the intensity that $25 normally buys.

Jancis Robinson found “succulent black fruit with good definition and purity,” and “lovely juicy fruit lingering on the finish.” Serve this with grilled meats this summer, and stews this fall.

The Joncuas Gigondas 2016 is a magnificent. It’s 80% grenache (some from centenarian vines), with the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault. The fruit is clean and very pure, with a gorgeous silky texture and notes of violets, raspberry, garrigue, and spice. Think of it as Grenache that wants to be Syrah.

The Wine Advocate awarded 93 points, finding it “big and balanced,” “plush,” and “velvety and long.” Close your eyes and this is easily a Châteauneuf-du-Pape; open them and it’s an astonishing amount of wine for under $35.


Joncuas Vacqueyras 2017
bottle price: $25

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Joncuas Gigondas 2016
bottle price: $34

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