Very old mixed plantings of Grenache on Miocene limestone sand in the ‘Hominis Fides’ named vineyard. Whole cluster fermentation. Twelve months’ ageing: 20% in new casks – 50% in casks used for one wine - 30% in casks used for two to three wines.
My father had spotted the huge potential of this site back in the early 1960s. Of course, this was not an era when the whys and wherefores of vineyard sites were examined in detail, but the sound appraisal of a seasoned winegrower could be trusted. Hominis Fides has always been one of the best named vineyard sites, irrespective of the vintage: great terroirs override vintages. When geological History with a capital H meets the relatively short-term history of small human winegrowers, the result is a kind of enigmaticsoul-searching: what is the meaning behind all this? Why does this soil created 11 million years ago by a sea that swept inland inspire little ‘worms’ like us on the long-term scale of time? Hominis Fides always displays a unique depth, but in a vintage like 2018, it is tinged with finesse and freshness. The tanninsalways achieve finesse with disconcerting ease. Although this is a Grenache vineyard, Hominis is also home to a lot of Aramon, Alicante, Carignan and even grape varieties whose names I am unfamiliar with...
Our predecessors liked to mix plantings and add diversity: it helps flowering, makes the wines more complex and “irons out” the excesses of certain vintages. Sometimes, before travelling far and wide looking for knowledge, trying to understand what our predecessors did and taking a closer look at what is in front of our very eyes is enough. Rose, liquorice, iodine, pepper.
One of the wines of the vintage, 2018 Gigondas Hominis Fides comes from a single parcel of old vines planted in more limestone/sandy soils not far from the estate (it’s just across the street from the Le Claux lieu-dit). This dense purple/ruby hued beauty boasts a sensational bouquet of ripe black raspberries, mulled cherries, black licorice, loamy soil, and a kiss of camphor, as well as plenty of peppery herb-like nuances. With full-bodied richness, it hits the palate with a seamless, elegant texture, no hard edges, building tannins and one seriously good finish. It’s not a powerhouse like the 2007 or 2016, yet has incredible finesse as well as purity of fruit and length. It benefits from a quick decant and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face any time over the coming 15+ years