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|Certified Biodynamic, Vegan
The Domaine Santa Duc takes its name from the Grand Duc owl found in the region: a fittingly noble symbol for some hallowed plots in the Rhône Valley. Though the Gras family has been established in Gigondas for close to 150 years, Yves Gras began to scout out new parcels when he took over the domaine in 1985, as well as turning to organic farming practices. His son Benjamin, who is now in charge, has continued further in the same vein: moving into biodynamics and incorporating plots in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and elsewhere. Benjamin’s wines ferment whole-cluster with indigenous yeasts and are bottled unfiltered. This blend of 80% grenache and 20% syrah comes from vines averaging 60 years of age in the Vacqueyras lieux-dits of Les Aubes and La Ponche. Both sites consist of primarily sandy soils, with a small proportion of clay. The hand-harvested grapes are partially destemmed and ferment for 20-30 days before aging for 18 months in foudres (90%) and terracotta amphorae (10%). Concentrated flavors of ripe red and black fruit abound, with a subtle peppery, licorice kick. Certified biodynamic, vegan.