Brusset, Gigondas, Hauts de Montmirail 2000

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By C4

93 points Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

A stunning offering from the Brusset family, this dense, plum/purple-colored, full-bodied Gigondas reveals an aromatic smorgasbord of vanilla, garrigue, violets, blackberries, and kirsch. Ripe, lush, and layered, with superb concentration, purity, and length (the finish lasts nearly 50 seconds) , it should be at its finest between 2005-2018. Wine Advocate #145, Feb 2003

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Full red-ruby. Knockout nose combines red and black berries, violet, licorice, coffee, mocha and exotic roasted, spicy oak. Broad and plush, with impressive volume and depth. Not at all overextracted, and very aromatic in the middle palate. Finishes long and ripely tannic, with some spicy oak adding to the impression of firmness.  (1/2003)

Thirty year old Laurent Brusset is the intense, perfectionist winemaker at this 52 year old domaine. Started by his grandparents in 1947 with three hectares of vineyards in Cairanne, today the total is some 85 hectares, with five hectares in the Cotes de Ventoux, 25 hectares in Mondragon (Cotes-du-Rhone), 40 hectares in Cairanne (cotes-du-Rhone-Villages) and the crown jewel, 20 hectares in Gigondas consisting of 68 individual terraces on an incredibly steep slope at the base of the "Dentelles de Montmirail".

Vinification is utterly modern. Yields are kept very low (between 25 and 30 hectoliters per hectare for Cairanne and Gigondas) by close pruning and a vendange verte in abundant vintages. The grapes are all hand-picked, completely destemmed, and vinified parcel by parcel, varietals separated. During harvest Laurent may have almost 100 different microvinifications in the cellar, representing different grape varietals of some 60 distinct parcels. All are fermented in enameled steel vats with temperatures controlled at 28C with a day or two at 34C for maximum extraction. Following the initial fermentation and malolactic in tank, the separate varietals and parcels are blended for each wine, with inferior tanks being sold off to negociants.

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