About this WINE
Domaine Pierre Gaillard
Pierre grew up amongst vines. At 12, he was found ploughing his family vineyard with a horse. He studied winemaking in Montpellier, before buying his first vineyards in 1981. He revived the “Clos de Cuminaille”, an ancient wine growing estate dating back to Roman times.
In recent years, Pierre’s son and daughters have been getting more involved at the domaine; Pierre’s passion and influence still remains at the core of this impressive property situated in the hills of Malleval. As well as being one of the top growers in St Joseph, Pierre is one of a handful of producers realising the potential of the vineyards in Seyssuel in the north of the region. He has over 60 parcels spread over 35 hectares in the Northern Rhône, which makes for an extremely comprehensive overview of all these appellations have to offer. His 2019s show depth, poise, and elegance, with a distinctive note of black pepper running through his various incantations of Syrah.
Cornas is a small appellation, just 150 hectares, located south of St Joseph. It’s on the west side of the river. The name “Cornas” comes from an old Celtic dialect term, meaning “burnt land”, so it’s no surprise that on the steep terraces here, facing south, temperatures are significantly higher than those in Hermitage, which is just 7km away.
The granite soils are home to the Syrah grape, producing reds that sit somewhere between those of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. These are strong and powerful wines, with nervy acidity and a robust, rustic charm to them. Their prominent tannins mean that they often demand time in the cellar to express their underlying elegance and complexity.
A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.
It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.
South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.