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Domaine Yves Cheron
Gigondas ‘Cuvee Jurassique’
France, Rhone Valley, Gigondas
Burgundian Yves Cheron graduated from the Lycée Viticole in Beaune in 1983 and headed south the following year to assume control of the family’s new domaine in the Southern Rhône. His father, Denis Cheron, saw the untapped potential in some of the region’s lesser-known appellations back in the early 1960s and left Burgundy to set up shop in this sun-baked sub-region of Provence. Denis purchased a production facility in Vacqueyras and began vinifying wines for several area growers. It wasn’t long before he had earned the trust and friendship of his client-vignerons. In 1982, one of them, the heirless owner of Grand Montmirail in Gigondas, decided to retire and gave Denis right of first refusal to buy his domaine in the appellation’s southeast sector.
Since taking over for his father, Yves has expanded the family’s vineyard holdings into neighboring Beaumes de Venise and Vacqueyras and now produces an impressive line of pure, elegantly-structured, Grenache-based reds without the rustic characteristics so common in wines from this region. All of the domaine’s vines are on gently-sloping hillsides at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountain range. Yves has also established long-term grape contracts with like-minded growers in Sarrians, Seguret and Violes for another 60 acres, which he uses for his Côtes du Rhône. Yves monitors each parcel and decides when to harvest. He then vinifies this excellent value red in the same manner as his Gigondas and Vacqueyras.
116 acres total: 89 in Gigondas, 17 in Vacqueyras, and 10 acres in Beaumes de Venise divided equally between red varieties and Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. All vines sustainably farmed (lutte raisonnée). Limestone base of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountain range with Cretaceous marl top soil (soft, loose earth consisting of calcium carbonate and clay).
Limestone base of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountain range with Cretaceous marl top soil (soft, loose earth consisting of calcium carbonate and clay). Thin limestone scree from the Dentelles (Jurassic limestone from the secondary era, -140 millions of years).
The vineyard is one of the oldest upper soils of the appellation. Black marl and limestone scree are dated from the Jurassic period on the secondary era (between -135 and -155 millions of years). This is extremely rare and it makes the vineyard an amazing place, which was once witness to a powerful tectonic activity of 65 millions years ago.
The vineyard lies in a superb natural amphitheater where the slopes are more moderate. This place has worked like a tank for the settlings, especially during the Quaternary period (from 0 to -1.5 millions of years). the soil is also blended with some thin limestone scree from the Dentelles (Jurassic limestone from the secondary era, -140 millions of years). This accumulation offers an interesting soil matrix which provides the right conditions for vines to be planted. Yves Cheron's first plot of vines were planted here after a big frost in the spring 1956. The grapes harvested enter in the composition of the cuvée "Gigondas Yves Cheron Jurassique”. Manual harvest with strict selection in both vineyard and on sorting table before crush. Average 33 hectoliters/hectare for all domaine wines.
Grapes are harvested by hand and totally destemmed. Long vatting with lightly crushed whole grapes. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and lasts up to 30 days. The first step and the most important for us is the maceration. The grapes are kept on low temperature with daily pumping over and daily punching down. During the whole fermentation, the temperature are kept on control for preserving the natural fruit and the “terroir expression” (primary aroma). Grapes are pressed with modern pneumatic press. Our underground winery is on three floors, which allow us to rack wines without any mechanical pumping.
Aged in subterranean cement tanks for 18 months before maturing in bottles in an air-conditioned cellar room.