It's no exaggeration to say that well-travelled Benjamin Gras is crafting some of the most elegant and soulful wines in the Southern Rhône.
About the Wine
Lovers of the variety know that Grenache is a versatile grape, making anything from the lightest of roses to the fullest of reds. What's rare, though, is for a single producer to run the entire gamut themselves. Santa Duc does this, eschewing a particular style for what they believe is the most accurate representation of terroir.
The Le Pied de Baud is certainly not the heaviest in the line up, nor the lightest, but sits quite comfortably in the middle. Where the other wines have a sense of tannic structure to them, what makes this difference is the sheer, unadulterated freshness.
This showcases just how elegant Grenache can be. It's bright and it's energetic, with fresh berries, cherries, red petals and a dusting of gingerbread bursting through and running riot. While there is some cleansing tannin, the structure is mostly from a raspberry-like tartness, a sign of Grenache's naturally high acid. The length here is insane. This is a wine which will burn itself onto your memory.
About Santa Duc
Long seen as a benchmark in Southern Rhone, the wines of Santa Duc are known for their concentration and longevity. Founded in 1874, the estate is currently being led by 4th generation winemaker Yves Gras and his son, Benjamin. The estate has been producing organic wines since 1985 and all fruit is hand harvested, fermented using indigenous yeasts and bottled without filtration.
What truly sets them apart, though, is their preference for large format oak and clay amphora, allowing fruit quality to shine through. While some of the wines are traditional, muscular reds, each of them benefit from a level of elegance, restraint and grace which is unsurpassed in the region.