2016 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas

SKU #1355070 98 points Decanter

 From 65 to 115 year old vines with no destemming, aged in old foudres. A discreet but intriguing nose of flowers, fruits and herbs. It's fresh and almost cleansing on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is concentrated but not overly so, with incredible brightness and vivacity leading into a mineral, saline finish that refreshes and lifts the spirits. Perfectly balanced, poised and seriously elegant, this is an absolute joy. It has an unforced and natural demeanour that is the sign of great terroir and a natural, sensitive touch in the cellar. Fantastic, and totally true to Gigondas. (MW)  (10/2017)

91-94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 The same blend, the 2016 Gigondas Ventabren is slightly more reticent and backward, with firm tannin to go with medium to full-bodied richness and classic notes of tobacco, minty herbs, cedar and both black and blue fruits. Brought up all in very old foudre, it’s going to need 2-3 years of bottle age, yet should keep for 10-15 years.  (10/2017)

Jancis Robinson

 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault. Concentrated red fruits on the nose - really rich and expressive, finishing with a lovely peppery character and a touch of herbal influence too. A more fired-up version of their tradition Gigondas, but not overcooked at all. (RH) 17.5/20 points  (10/2017)

K&L Notes

The Cuvée Ventabren is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre from the property’s oldest vines - they range from 80 to 100 years of age. All fermentation is done in cement tanks and the wine is aged for 18 months in large oak foudres. The wine is loaded with brambly black fruit, spice notes and that ever-present garrigue. Possessing a beautiful full body texture and an ample finish, this wine resonates beautifully and has all the hallmarks of a great southern Rhône wine. It is approachable now but has plenty of stuffing for short-term or long term cellaring. Serve it with roast meats, braises and stews. You’ll see why we keep coming back for JB’s wines.

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Price: $39.99

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Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/15/2018 | Send Email
Thirsty old vines dig deep in the stony unforgiving soils of the Southern Rhone, generating low-yielding fruit that expresses the generous warmth and vitality of Gigondas, and winemaker Jean Baptiste Meunier remains just as deeply attuned to the elemental soils and climate as those venerable vines. The 2016 Ventabren is a tour de force, a sensational wine that captivates the senses with aromas and flavors of blackberry, tobacco, wild herbs and spicebox, full-bodied, textural and harmonious, with all 'the right stuff' to age gracefully for another decade or more. (Had to throw in an homage to writer Tom Wolfe, who passed away today.)

Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
Our Monday crew had been planning a staff BBQ for the past few weeks... our operations manager Steve "The Meat" Berg grilled up some killer ribs and tri-tip sandwiches, the authentic Canadian poutine provided by yours truly. I have been impatiently waiting to try this new vintage of the "Ventabren" since the 2015 sold out last year. The anticipation of BBQ and Gigondas? That's kismet! Powerful and expressive (the wine, not the meat), this has such incredible depth and concentration but shows the elegance and finesse that so defines Jean-Baptiste Meunier's style. The wine itself is stellar on its own but truly complemented some serious BBQ. If I wasn't on the clock I would have snuck off, bottle in hand, slab of rib in the other. JB Meunier has captured my heart once again.

Staff Image By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
The 2015 Vintage of the Cuvee Ventabren was one of my favorite blends coming from Gigondas last year,and I'm happy to say that the 2016 vintage has become one of my favorites from Gigondas this year. This Grenache heavy blend just reminds me just how amazing grenache can really be, and it showcases beautifully in the 2016 vintage. Peppery, mineral driven, and deeply complex, this bottle for 30 bucks, is a fantastic choice for dinner or even by itself.

Staff Image By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
This is the perfect example of why I love the wines of Gigondas. The 2016 “Ventabren” is a stunning display of power, focus and balance. Every tiny corner of this wine seems pristinely polished, and nearly every component of this wine works beautifully with one another. In the aromas you will find dark fruits, garrigue and black pepper while on the palate generous fruit flavors of blackberry coulis accented with spice. I really love how this wine is structured--you can feel the energy and potential in this wine like a coiled spring. Yet, the tannins are fine enough to be accessible with a little bit of decanting. Of the dozen or so vintages of Moulin de la Gardette I have tasted, the 2016 “Ventabren” strikes a new chord for balance and quality from one of my all-time favorite producers. It may be awhile before we see another Gigondas like this.

Staff Image By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
The more recent vintages of "Ventabren" have been outstanding but the 2016 is the best I've tasted to-date from this estate. There's an overall, complexity, depth and finesse that make this special. The house style shows through with its signature peppery black fruit, garrigue and spice. It's immediately lithe and seamless upfront while deceptive tannins fill out the finish and make this a very complete wine. The 2016 Ventabren is a showstopper that is comparable to far pricier and better known Rhone wines.

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
My visit to Gardette in 2017 consisted of tasting the 2015 vintage, just freshly bottled, and some barrel tasting of the 2016s. Both went well beyond impressive to say the least. The 2016 though had so much depth of flavor, it is no surprise that Jean-Baptiste Meunier, proprietor of Gardette, declared it the best vintage he has ever made. This past March, I returned to taste the now bottled 2016s and barrel taste the 2017s (also impressive but something we'll examine next year when those wines are ready). Jaw-dropping was my reaction. The Cuvee Ventabren had such power and weight behind it but extraordinary balance. It was a new benchmark rivaling the top cuvees from Saint-Cosme (Jean-Baptiste's dear friend) for a fraction of the price. The Ventabren is definitely cellar-worthy with its beguiling spice box nose and perfume of garrigue and incense. Deep blackberry fruit comes in waves accented by the panoply of those surrounding aromas. The Ventabren is not a hedonistic style outright but one that is more savory and spicy capturing what makes the region so different from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. I often find myself relishing the wines of Gigondas more than the CDPs, not just because they represent greater value but they can match the quality of Chateauneuf without losing a step. Don't miss this extraordinary bottling from one of our favorite producers as it won't last long in the stores.

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2018 | Send Email
What a stunner. The 2015 stood out for our team as a truly special wine - balanced, bright, and elegant while carrying the concentration of the vintage with pure class. The 2016 has another dimension - deeper fruit and more structure, but not so intimidating that it's not ready to go now with a healthy decant. Waves of deep red fruit and garrigue marry perfectly with a chalky minerality, bright acidity, fine grain tannins, and a resilient and long finish. If this is a sign of things to come for 2016 Southern Rhone, we're in for some special wines. This, however, might be one of the biggest overachievers of the vintage - one that any old school or new wave Grenache/CdP lover should load up on while available. Enjoy now with some air, or check in anytime over the next ten to fifteen years.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Rhone Blends

Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Rhone

- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market. View our bestselling Rhone Valley wines.
Specific Appellation:

Gigondas

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5
Organic: