This seriously underrated Gigondas domaine has been run by the Saurel family since 1821 and for most of that time they’ve sold their grapes to others. Current custodians Joel and Amie Saurel took over the estate in 1978, changing the name to St Damien in 1979. They named it after a Chapel, long since fallen down, that stood near the estate, honouring St Damien, an early Christian saint who was martyred in 287AD. In case you were wondering, Damien is the patron saint of doctors, surgeons, blind people and barbers.
As at June 2022 there are 22 Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC with a geographical name, one of which is Plan de Dieu, which is located in Vaucluse, a few kilometres west of Gigondas.
"An 80-20 blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, the 2019 Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu Vieilles Vignes is an excellent option for consumers who don't want to spend the extra money for the Saurel family's Gigondas bottlings. The garrigue on the nose is a bit more subtle than normal this year, with the bulk of the aromatics being super ripe cherries and berries. Full-bodied and intense, with a helping of firm tannins that keep the jamminess in check, it finishes dusty and savory, with ample length. This is a big wine, yet one I suspect will mature relatively quickly; drink it over the next 5-6 years. Drink 2021-2026."
90-92 points, Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate.
"The 2019 Plan De Dieu Vieilles Vignes has considerably more elegance and finesse compared to the richer, more opulent La Bouveau and gives up beautiful notes of black cherries, raspberries, flowers, and peppery garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, silky and just beautifully balanced, this is a no brainer Southern Rhône to enjoy over the coming 5-7 years as well. Drink 2020-2027."
90-92 points, Jeb Dunnuck.
|Brand||Domaine St Damien|