Producer feature: Domaine Gramenon

 Michèle Aubèry-Laurent

Michèle Aubèry-Laurent

The seemingly reserved façade of Michèle Aubèry-Laurent melts away quickly when she speaks about her wines. As a former nurse (who often favored natural remedies), she has come to treat her vines with the same care, conviction, and passion as she had for her former patients. She and her husband, Philippe, bottled their first vintage of Domaine Gramenon in 1990, in the far northern-eastern stretches of the southern Rhône, in the town of Montbrison-sur-Lez. Philippe was a talented vigneron—both creative and edgy—and he loved to push the envelope of the regulations imposed by the I.N.A.O. In 1999, in an unexpected twist of fate, he was killed in a tragic accident. Michèle was suddenly left on her own with their three children, vineyards, and a winery to deal with. Crushed but undaunted, Michèle stepped to the forefront, boldly picking up where Philippe left off. Over the years, Michèle has discovered her own creative voice in her new vocation; in so doing she has catapulted Domaine Gramenon into cult wine status.  Today, she works twenty-six hectares with her talented son, Maxime François (a rising star in his own right), farming both young and very old vines alike. They employ organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyards, with a strong non-interventionist stance in the cellars. Maxime François has begun flexing his own creative muscle, bottling two cuvées at the domaine under his own name.

 Maxime François Laurent

Maxime François Laurent

 

Domaine Gramenon is the authentic embodiment of the philosophies that the Laurents espouse. They do not merely champion organic farming, but they incorporate the concept of sustainability into their daily lives by growing their own food and raising their own animals. The domaine bottles an AOC Vinsobres and a myriad of parcels of Côtes-du-Rhône located around the domaine. Though Michèle and Maxime continue to test the confines of the appellation, the cellars are unsurprisingly old-fashioned. The Laurents use gravity-fed cuves and age their wines in oak demi-muids and foudres. That they take such gutsy risks as bottling old-vine fruit with so little sulfur, without fining or filtration, only demonstrates the lengths they will go to in order to highlight the freshness, purity, and intoxicating aromas of their small, rare production.

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VITICULTURE / VINIFICATION

**Denotes a wine made under the label "Maxime François Laurent" 

• All grapes have been farmed biodynamically since 2007; the Laurents have been certified organic since 2010

• Yields are limited in the vineyards

• Vines are pruned in Gobelet and Cordon de Royat

• All fermentations are natural, using only indigenous yeasts

 

• All reds are bottled unfined and unfiltered, and with no additional sulfur during fermentation

GRAMENON


Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc “Vie on y est” :

• Both alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation are in barriques

• Wine ages for 6 months in barrel before bottling


Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “Sierra du Sud” :

• Grapes are partially de-stemmed

• Grapes macerate for 12 days in cement cuve

• Wine ages in both cuve and in barriques for 7 months before bottling


Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “Poignée de Raisins” :

• Grapes are partially de-stemmed

• Grapes macerate for 10 days in cement cuve

• Wine ages for 6 months in cuve before bottling


Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “Les Laurentides” :

• Grapes are partially de-stemmed

• Grapes macerate for 15 days in cement cuve

• Wine ages for 12 months in barriques


Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “A Pascal S. ” :

• Whole cluster fermentation for 18 days in wood cuve

• Wine ages for 12 months in barriques


Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “La Sagesse ” :

• Grapes are partially de-stemmed

• Grapes macerate for 15 days in cement cuve

• Wine ages for 12 months in barriques

 


Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “Ceps Centenaires La Mémé”:
• Whole cluster fermentation for 18 days in wood cuve
• Wine ages for 12 months in barriques

Vin de France “Tout’ En Bulles de Gramenon”:
• Wine is not disgorged nor aged sur lattes
• Wine is bottles during fermentation and finishes fermentation in bottle
• Enclosed with a cork and crown cap
• 8 grams residual sugar

MAXIME FRANÇOIS LAURENT
Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge “Il Fait Soif” :

• Grapes are partially de-stemmed
• Syrah ferments with carbonic maceration
• Partial whole cluster fermentation in cement cuve for 10 days
• Wine ages for 6 months in stainless steel cuves