Pierre Gaillard grew up amongst vines. At 12, he was found ploughing his family vineyard with a horse. Following his winemaking studies in Montpellier, he bought his first lands in St. Joseph in 1981, reviving the “Clos de Cuminaille” – an ancient wine growing estate dating back to Roman times.
In recent years, Pierre’s children have been getting more involved at the domaine; but his own passion and influence still remain at the core of the impressive property. As well as being one of the top growers in St Joseph, Pierre is also one of a handful of producers realising the potential of Seyssuel to the north of the region. In total, he has over 60 parcels spread over 35 hectares in the Northern Rhône, which makes for an extremely comprehensive overview of everything these appellations have to offer.
We tasted the ’20s direct from barrel and tank alongside Pierre’s son, Pierre-Antoine. His various incarnations of Syrah had the refined, elegant style and notes of fresh herbs – very common to this vintage. Unlike some of our producers, Pierre uses new oak in his winemaking; utilised in a way that complements the wine and certainly doesn’t dominate.
The whites on offer are from the ’21 vintage. While they were still finishing their malolactic fermentation and were not yet in their final blend, the composites showed great promise, with zesty fruit and freshness. This will form a perfect backbone for the balanced use of oak and lees stirring usually seen during maturation.