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2014 Gilles Troullier
A Modern Master in Syrah and Grenache
September 12, 2016
The best reds of the South of France, especially the Rhone, have always been imposing in stature and length,big and hearty.
There is now a newer style of southern reds, suave and precise, rich but not heavy, elegant fresh lifted and graceful. They are as rich and concentrated as Rhone wines but not so heavy and tannic, marked more by soils not by tannins.
Gilles Troullier is fast gaining a reputation as one of the best of the practitioners of this sleeker, more modern style. He made his mark working with Grenache and Syrah at the Chapoutier Bila Haut winery in the Roussillon, gaining extravagant praise for his $100-a-bottle reserve bottlings.
At the same time he began to make organic, biodynamic wines under his own name. That was fine with Chapoutier until some of them appeared in the press with superlatives and scores that rivaled those of the top Bila Haut. He was then let go for 'insubordination.' Jealousy perhaps?
Last year. I found his 2013s extraordinary; lovely and smooth textured, beautiful in their precision and detail. Each cuvée represents a single varietal from a specific terroir. Each is a perfect snapshot in time of a unique place.
Jeb Dunnock in the Wine Advocate called them " some of the most exciting wines from the region" and say of the 2014, "The only bad thing about these new releases from Gilles Troullier is that they're made in tiny quantities." I have not been able to taste them, but have included his notes below.
Troullier describes them best.
"Very Mediterranean with powerful aromas. Grenache brings silkiness and a spicy side; Syrah an almost northern quality and is much more structured. On the one hand each has a certain mineral austerity, on the other a velvet power. They are very balanced wines; I'd say an iron hand in a silken glove."
Three cuvees are available. De-La (roughly 'here and there' in French, is from 25 year old Syrah vines in high altitude granite and sand vineyards.
The all-Grenache l'Esprit du Temps is from over 80 year old vines grown in limestone and schist soils,
I loved the white 2013 Gilles Troullier L'Imprevue but it was made in such small quantities that we were not able to get any. A field blend of 80+ year-old Grenache Blanc and Gris, it was a deliciously creamy citric and floral wine that was a joy to come back for another taste. Don't miss the 2014. There are only 5 cases available
These wines will benefit from short term aging, (the Esprit du temps will show sooner than the De-La) The reds last for a decade or more. They all have a depth and purity shared by few other southern reds. All notes are from Jev Dunnock in the
Wines arrive Thursday
2014 Gilles Troullier De-La; "Reminding me of a classy St Joseph from the northern Rhone Valley,...100% Syrah (all from granite soils) that spent 12 months in 70% demi-muids and 30% in concrete tanks. Its vibrant purple color is followed by lots of granite-induced minerality, as well as ample notes of spring flowers, raspberries, rose petals and pepper. More medium-bodied, elegant and lively, with bright acidity, it will drink beautifully through 2026; Case, 312 (26); Half Case, 165 (27.50)
2013 Gilles Troullier L'Esprit du Temps; "from two sites: one planted on the limestone soils near the village of Latour de France, and one planted on the schist soils near Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet. It was fermented with 100% whole clusters and spent eight months in a new foudre prior to bottling. Offering lots of spice and sandalwood, with background notes of rose petals, black cherries and white pepper, this medium to full-bodied, balanced and elegant 2014 has fine tannin and a finesse-driven style that will evolve nicely for 7-8 years; Case, 516 (43 per bottle); Half Case, 270 (45)
2013 Gilles Troullier L'Imprevue; "a terrific blend of equal parts Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc that spent eight months in a foudre.. Sporting a medium gold color as well as rich, full-bore notes of buttered fruits, cream, mineral and brioche, this fabulously textured effort hits the palate with tons of fruit and texture, yet always stays fresh and lively, with a saline-like minerality emerging on the finish. This is a big, pedal to the metal style that will shine with richer foods." Case, 516 (43 per bottle); Half Case, 270 (45)
2014 Gilles Troullier Sampler, four each of the above three wines $448 (37.33 a bottle)
Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: Order@federalwine.com
Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts!
- Len Rothenberg
(c) Federal Wine and Spirits Inc. 2016