Day 91 – Hadrian’s Wall

Dom. de Gramenon Valreas Elementaire 2016

I was given two bottles of Gramenon Elémentaire, a 2016 and a 2018, by a wine merchant as a gift a few years ago. I see from what I laughably call ‘my notes’ that I drank the 2016 in August 2020. I didn’t record what I thought of it – and certainly don’t remember – but I must have been impressed because I bought two more in northern France the following Christmas. 

I had done a little research beforehand and discovered that there had been problems with secondary fermentation with one of the Gramenon cuveés. I mentioned this to the merchant who had, according to his blurb, been voted Sommelier of the Year in his region at some point. ‘That’s right,’ he said, ‘although it was just one vintage, and it wasn’t really a problem. If you gave the bottle a hearty shake after opening the fizz dispersed quickly.’ I rather liked this irreverent approach, although I was sure I could hear wine snobs fainting and crashing to the ground for miles around. However, I stuck to the Elémentaire, which wasn’t the cuvée in question.

This was the first of those two bottles. I was immediately struck by the herby whiff. I suppose I should say ‘garrigue’ for wine-cred. The colour was pale in comparison to say a Guigal or Saint Cosme. The whole was brightly fruity and floral with a gentle acidity. My overall thought was ‘light’ although at 14.5% that wasn’t completely true. Very good indeed, and a nice change from the weightier stuff.

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