Today I bring to you the heart of Mauves, a small village on the West Bank of Rhône. The Gripa family has a multi-generational history in the village and their family winemaking traditions still remain key to the operations of the Domaine today. Fabrice Gripa, current custodian, looks after the Domaine with the help of his father Bernard Gripa.
All year long, Fabrice and his determined team, undertake every task in the vineyard by hand, as no machine is capable of accessing the steep and challenging terrain of the vineyards. Adding to the workload is Fabrice’s exclusive use of organic agricultural methods.
The Domaine is composed of sixteen hectares of vineyard – half white wines and half red wines – a unique combination within the village. Sixteen hectares are owned by the Gripas, with 3.5 hectares under the appellation of Saint-Péray – a truly rare white producing appellation, amongst a sea of neighbouring reds. Domaine Gripa’s Saint-Péray wines are made from Marsanne and Roussanne, and create a marvellous still white wine.
"The complex granite soils of the appellation plus the old vines and the Gripa’s expertise are showcased to perfection here. If you haven’t heard about the appellation, I advise you to get to know it!" - Alex Rougeot
Domaine Gripa’s wines are all made traditionally and masterfully, expressing their origin. The four cuvées of Saint Joseph and the two cuvées of Saint-Péray undergo their maturation in French oak barrels of different sizes and age to slow down the ferocity of their natural acid and tannic complexity. Two cuvées of Saint-Joseph white and red called “Berceau” are made from the oldest vineyards, in the best climats of the Domaine. These can be aged for up to an astonishing 15 years! This longevity is a signature of the finest French wines.
Domaine Gripa's Latest Vintage
ST JOSEPH WHITE 2019 - 90 POINTS
This is unusual in a region where white wine production is scarce; in Saint Joseph, white production represents a mere 9% of the appellation’s total. The vineyards are planted on granite soil specific to Saint Joseph.
Honey, pear and pineapple aromas appear on the nose of the 2019 Saint Joseph Blanc. A 70-30 blend of Marsanne and Roussanne that was mainly barrel fermented and aged (20% went into tank and stayed there until the final blending), it's a medium to full-bodied effort, with a plump, fleshy mouthfeel and a lingering, more citrusy finish. Joe Czerwinzki, Wine Advocate.
ST JOSEPH "BERCEAU" WHITE 2020 - 93 POINTS
While the regular cuvée displays honeyed ripeness, Gripa's 2019 Saint Joseph Blanc Le Berceau—old-vine Marsanne from the lieu-dit Saint-Joseph in Tournon—features scents of crushed stone, pencil shavings and citrusy fruit. Entirely barrel fermented and aged, it's medium to full-bodied, concentrated and shows ample length and freshness on the finish. I've been deliberately conservative with my aging estimate but wouldn't be surprised to see this drink well for a decade or more. It's certainly among the top white wines from the appellation. Joe Czerwinzki, Wine Advocate.
ST PERAY "LES FIGUIERS" 2019 - 91 POINTS
“Les Figuiers” is the Domaine’s top cuvée of Saint Péray. The Gripa’s use their old vines of more than 50 years to produce the nectar.
A hint of stuck match appears on the nose of the 2019 Saint Peray Les Figuiers, along with notes of pear and citrus. A barrel-fermented 60-40 blend of Roussanne and Marsanne, it's medium-bodied, streamlined and silky textured, with bright, lime-like flavors on the long finish. Still youthfully tight, this seems like it could drink well for more than the typical 2-3 years. Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate.
ST JOSEPH RED 2019 - 92+ POINTS
This wine is from older vineyards that range from 30-45 years old. The vineyards are planted on terraces of granite soil specific to this appellation.
Lavished in vanilla, the creamy, hedonistic 2019 Saint Joseph layers that with ripe cherries to make a delectable, easy-drinking wine. It's medium to full-bodied, lush and rich, with a long, velvety finish. I realize the oak may put off some traditionalists, but this appears to have excellent underlying material and is worth following. Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate.