A top bio producer from Côte Roannaise, the '11th cru of Beaujolais'

The little known region of Côte Roannaise, is at the eastern-most reach of the Loire Valley region, though at only one range of hills west of the Beaujolais region, shares considerably more in common with its Burgundian near neighbour.  The appellation allows only Gamay, with whites declassified to IGP d’Urfé.  Vincent Giraudon’s tiny 5 hectare domaine is situated on granitic soils at the appellation’s northern end, with the young vigneron first bottling wine in 2005.  Vines are managed organically, and childhood friend Romain Paire of Domaine des Poithiers is retained on winemaking duty.

The vineyard is planted on complex granitic soils, similar to those in Saint-Joseph (Rhône Valley), perfectly suitable for the Gamay Saint-Romain grape, a small berried variant of Gamay. When mastered, the wines show concentration, coming from this variety of Gamay, and freshness, coming from granite.  A region we suspect we'll be hearing more of in Australia soon!

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vincent giraudon tentation gamay ROSÉ 2016

100% Gamay rosé, with some parcels briefly macerated on skins, blended with direct press components.  This is a savoury, bone dry style, offering a seductive slurpability of Gamay fruit with a serious, rocky mineral structure underneath.  It leads with violets and crushed flower petals, offering juicy wild strawberry and plum flavours.  A different beast to a Provence rosé without the saline lick, but undeniably complex and intriguing due to its deep mineral core.

vincent giraudon tentation gamay RED 2015

Variety here is Gamay Saint Romain, a smaller berried variant of Gamay, allowing a higher skin to juice ratio.  Hand harvested, as are all of this estate’s wines, and sees carbonic maceration and fermentation in concrete tanks.  This wouldn’t be out of place at all in a cru Beaujolais lineup – again, the slurpability factor associated with Beaujolais is high here – think violets, blueberries, red and black currants, balanced by a captivating rocky core.  Not a massively tannic style but the minerals certainly give depth and interest to the wine's structure.

"Cherry pip, lipstick, red currants, sweet spice in perfume. Sloshy textured, joyous stuff, fresh with bright, berry fruit character and crisp in fine, silty tannins. Easy going, just under medium weight red of vitality and high drinkability. A chill wouldn’t do it harm either. Drink up!" 90 points, Mike Bennie, Winefront