Guillaume Gonnet Vigneron Lirac 2019  £19.61

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Guillaume Gonnet Vigneron Lirac 

The energetic and charismatic Guillaume Gonnet is not your average Rhône winemaker. Extremely open in his attitude, his curious, boundary challenging approach extends beyond wine. He travelled to the far ends of the earth, revelling in the opportunity to surf some of the best waves in the world while learning his craft in various Australian and New Zealand regions.

Returning to the Rhône, now with his Australian wife Kelly, Guillaume has shown similar energy for his family estate and for his own nascent project. This landlocked surfer may be miles from the ocean but is happily riding the wave of a newfound enthusiasm for Grenache-based wines. Pursuing biodynamics wherever possible, allowing his fruit to express itself freely through hands-off winemaking and displaying his fascination for the varying soils of the Rhône through his diverse range of wines.

This particular vineyard practices, Lutte raisonnée, literally “reasoned fight” (in French), or “supervised control” (in English), regarded as a pragmatic approach to farming, where chemical treatments are used only when absolutely necessary. Biodiversity in the vineyards is encouraged through the planting of cover crops, rigorous ploughing of the soils, and the use of manures and natural composts to fertilize the vines.

Traditional fermentation and ageing in concrete vats 12 months with no oak treatment.

Intense red and black fruits, lots of spices and garrigue (herbs from Provence), soft, elegant tannins developing complex aromas (liquorice, truffle and dark chocolate) with ageing. This wine deserves to be served with a slow-cooked meal such as a Daube (Southern French casserole) or a baked lamb.

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