Domaine Saint-Damien is run by Joel and Amie Saurel.  The Saurel family had been tending vineyards for four generations, dating back to 1821, and until recently selling all of the grapes to negociants. In 1996 Joel resumed producing wine at the estate and in 1998 they brought on consulting winemaker Philippe Cambie. Vinification is classic with wines being made in large old cement tanks and aged in either the tanks or Large old foudres for the Gigondas.

Today the estate is comprised of 42 acres of vineyards of which 30 are in Gigondas.  The vines are an average age of 50 years and are very low yielding. The wines of Gigondas are bottled according to individual terroir (particularly soil type) known as the Saint Damien Trilogy;

"Proprietor Joel Saurel, backed up by the inimtable Philippe Cambie as his consultant, has transformed this estate into one of the greatest in Gigondas, rivalling the two top producers, Yves Gras' Santa Duc and Louis Barruol's Saint Cosme."Robert Parker

2016 Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes Plan de Dieu
80% Grenache, 15% Carignan, 5% Mourvèdre This wine is sourced from the lower terraced parcels of the Plan de Dieu lieu-dit, in the commune of Violès. The Grenache and Carignan vines are over 60 years old and the Mourvèdre 30 years. The wine is fermented for 30 days in concrete vats before 8 months of aging (again in concrete). The wine is bottled without fining or filtration. “My favorite of the non-Gigondas efforts, the 2013 Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes has tons of strawberry, spice, licorice and dried-earth qualities in its savory, Provencal and chewy style. Made from 80% Grenache, 10% Carignan and 10% Mourvèdre from vines planted in the vast plains between Vacqueyras and Cairanne (plan de Dieu), it should drink nicely for 3-4 years.” 91 points, #216, Jan 2015

2015 Gigondas Rose
80% Cinsault  20% Syrah Made mostly from old Cinsault vines planted in 1970. Very floral and rich. Brilliant orange-pink. Fresh red berries, orange zest, pungent flowers and white pepper on the intensely perfumed nose. Juicy and mineral-driven on the palate, offering sappy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of blood orange. Shows excellent focus and vivacity on the long, mineral-laced finish, which leaves a juicy red berry note behind. 91” Vinous Media, May 2016

2015 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes           750ml + 1500ml
80% Grenache (1964), 20% Mourvèdre (1977)  “Dark ruby. Aromas and flavors of ripe red and blue fruits pick up floral and peppery spice nuances as the wine opens up. Smooth and expansive on the palate, showing very good depth as well as energy and spicy back-end lift. The gently gripping, very persistent finish leaves behind hints of candied flowers and licorice. (91-93)” Vinous Media, September 2017

 2015 Gigondas Les Souteyrades
80% Grenache (1948), 20% Mourvèdre (1977) “Like the La Louisiane, the 2015 Gigondas les Souteyrades spent a year in foudres prior to bottling. It a similar blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, but grown on north-facing gray clays. There's more pepper and herb here, still wonderfully ripe raspberries but less chocolate. Full-bodied, it's still silky and refined, with tremendous length on the finish. 94”, November 2017

2015 Gigondas La Louisanne
80% Grenache (1942), 15% Mourvèdre (1977), 5% Syrah + Cinsault (1951) “My pick of the cuvées in 2015 is the 2015 Gigondas La Louisiane, a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault and Syrah. From south-facing slopes of red clay and sand, this shows incredible detail in its aromas of garrigue and raspberries, then folds in richer notes of dark chocolate. This is full-bodied and velvety in feel, with just a hint of warmth on the finish. It should drink well for a decade, possibly longer. 95”, Nov 2017