“A great family estate in Gigondas, Domaine Brusset was created by Andre Brusset in 1947. Today, it covers over 70 hectares (in Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau and Côtes du Rhône) and is run by Daniel Brusset, with help from his grandson, Laurent. This estate uses a relatively high percentage of new oak, and they definitely show modern characters in their youth, yet they age beautifully and in this reviewer’s opinion, never lose their Southern Rhône charm or soul.”
Jeb Dunnock on Domaine Brusset, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2016
This large and important Domaine has vineyards spread throughout the southern Rhône, primarily in Gigondas and its neighbouring villages. While the region lies close to Chateauneuf du Pape and the same grape varietals dominate, soil differs, and due to the higher altitude, the environment here is more volatile. As Andrew Jefford wrote in Decanter, at Brusset “There seems to be no desire to force wines to conform to anything other than what we might call their genetic destiny, no matter how singular nature’s efforts might be. And nature can be almost troublingly articulate here.” The result is a region that respects the limits of human intervention and presents a distinct sense of terroir.
The Dentelles de Montmirail is a Jurassic era limestone rock formation set like a jagged row of teeth above the vineyards of Gigondas. Brusset’s “Les Secrets de Montmirail” comes from three rows of low-yielding vines grown just beneath the Dentelles at 350 metres above sea level. The soil here is a combination of clay and rock; the vineyards set in small, steep terraces.
Owing to the steep aspect of the vineyard, the grapes are all hand-picked. Fruit is de-stemmed, then undergoes a long fermentation by native yeast. The finished wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah, 30% matured in new oak casks, 70% in vats. This wine will easily benefit from ten or more years cellaring to reach its peak.
Deep purple in colour, with an electric nose of violets, rosemary, and dusty mineral tones. On the palate, this is a powerful wine, ample, fresh, and truly delicious. Generous fruit balances the austerity of Gigondas.
“Another wine that’s not for those craving instant gratification, the 2015 Gigondas Les Secrets de Montmirail (50% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 25% Mourvèdre, aged in 30% new barrels) offers tight, reserved and backwards notes of scorched earth, black fruits and crushed rocks in its full-bodied, structured profile. The tannin is ripe, but certainly present, and it needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years.“
(91-94) points, Jeb Dunnock, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Dec 2016