Pierre Gonon

Saint-Joseph; Domaine Pierre Gonon and Domaine Barou!

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Today's New York Times contains an excellent article by Eric Asimov on the wines of Saint-Joseph featuring the work of Jean and Pierre Gonon at their wonderful estate in Mauves, and the efforts of Jean-Louis Chave to recreate the family's lost vineyards. "This vineyard feels as ancient as the crumbling granite underneath, a place where earth, climate, altitude and exposition come together with faith, hope and the sweat of humanity past, present and future. What it says about history, heritage and culture represents much of what I love about wine, which has a story to tell, in a voice that invites both contemplation and pure pleasure." We couldn't agree more. Wine is a product of history and culture as much as of grapes, and the work of growers like the Gonons continues and improves upon the work of their ancestors in a way that is inspiring and - well - delicious. The Gonons are modest, warm and hard-working people who are in the vineyard everyday and take great pride in their work. "We are lucky" says Jean Gonon; "people are buying our wines." We are fortunate to receive an allocation from the Gonons each year - the wine offered today will arrive in late September. (6 bottle maximum, please; 10% discount applies when purchased as part of a case.)

Alexis Barou converted his estate to organic agriculture back in 1975 as he didn't find as much flavor in his cherries once they had been sprayed. His son Emmanuel, with wife Agnes, currently have about 3 hectares in Saint-Joseph, 1 hectare in Condrieu and 6 hectares of Vin de Pays in Charnas from which they produce elegant, unforced traditional wines - along with delicious organic cherries and apricots. Their farming is exemplary, using their own compost, keeping the soil covered, plowing as little as possible and avoiding even the organic treatments against mildew, as they can harm soil fauna. The Saint-Joseph parcels are in Limony, on de-composed granite, and Charnas, on stone covered firm granite. The Condrieu vineyard is on a steep south-facing granite slope with clay soil. "This is a name to watch" says Livingstone-Learmonth in "Wines of the Northern Rhône," "the domaine is emerging as a sound address for carefully made, natural wines." -DL

 

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Barou 2011 Saint-Joseph

From 2 hectares of 15 to 40 year-old vines, mostly in Limony on decomposed granite. The Barou Saint-Joseph is lovely again in 2011 a fairly forward style much appreciated for drinking over the next five to ten years. Ripe blackberry and cherry-liqueur aromas with hints of smoky fat; the palate is soft and round with lush fruits that linger, with adequate, if not strong acidity. This is a traditional mixed-use farm, with cherries and apricots on the plateau, all of which are tended organically since 1975. There is fine work in the vineyards here with a special type of light plowing in order to preserve the life of the soil. The wines have an added dimension of fruit and mineral acids, giving them a bit of lift and freshness. The Barous are nice people quietly doing great work, making delicious wines at affordable prices.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

Barou 2011 Condrieu

From the commune of Limony in the south of the Condrieu AOC, where the wines show a bit more ripeness with spice and smoky notes. Primarily from the lieu-dit "Braise" a steep slope of granite with patches of clay and sandy soils. During our visit to the estate last winter, we were deeply impressed with the vineyard work of Marie-Agnes and Emmanuel, whose estate has been organic since 1975. They plow superficially and use minimal amounts of the organic treatments for mildew in order to preserve the life of their soils. The Condrieu 2011 is aromatically complex and beautiful with citrus and exotic fruits with spicy floral notes. The palate is balanced, with lovely ripe and good acidity with saline minerals. A lovely Condrieu at a very reasonable price!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

Barou 2011 Vin de Pays Colline Rhodanienn Viognier

A very pretty and typically quite floral Viognier with lemon, tea and white fruit aromas leading to a clean and balanced palate with citrus, spice and exotic fruit flavors. This is a light and lovely junior Condrieu at a great price!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99