Glistening magenta. Highly perfumed cherry liqueur and blackberry scents are complemented by hints of incense, potpourri and exotic spices. Supple dark berry, bitter cherry and succulent herb flavors show good focus. A jolt of smoky minerality adds lift. Chewy, slow-building tannins lend shape and grip to a firm, nervy finish that echoes the cherry note.
Score: 93-95 points -- Josh Raynolds, Vinous, 2020
Christophe Ay and his sister Anne-Sophie represent the seventh generation at this venerable family-run estate. Owners of 19 hectares in Gigondas, they produce only Gigondas, and only a single cuvée each year. Plantings are 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre, all on the plain in front of the village, not on any of the high-elevation sites in the Dentelles. The grapes are all destemmed, then fermented in vats using indigenous yeasts before élevage in old foudres for at least two years. Christophe points out that the mildew attack in May-June 2018 left small yields of only 15-16 hectoliters per hectare, but the resulting wines have good acidity and long aging potential. He compares it to 2015 or 2007 (both excellent vintages at this address).