2004 Galus "G" Costieres de Nimes

When Jean-Baptiste Paquet mentioned to his father, Michel, that he was interested in purchasing a small domain in the south of France in the Costieres de Nimes appellation, Michel rolled his eyes. Michel remembered rolling the dice on his estate in the Maconnais when he was only a few years older than his son. The path towards building Paquet's remarkable St. Veran domaine was rockier than the soil around Nimes, and the memories of the hail, the frost, the seemingly endless investment never really went away.

But, when Michel first saw Galus and its 12 hectares of old-vine Syrah and Grenache, and the dry, windswept landscape, he realized that Jean-Baptiste's enthusiasm was well founded. So, for a second time in just 25 years, the Paquet family took the plunge on a winery and vineyard investment.

Many of the wines in the Costieres de Nimes appellation are deep and dark, but suffer from underripe tannins--wines that are rich in the front palate, but hard and astringent in the back. As Burgundians, Jean-Baptiste and his wife, Fanette, sought to mollify the hard tannins, aiming not only for power but elegance as well. As a result, their wines more akin to the southern Rhone than the Languedoc.

"G" is made from the oldest and best Syrah on the estate. There were just 6 barrels produced in 2004, the second release. The 2004 vintage was superb in the south of France, offering a much longer growing season than the scorchingly hot summer of 2003. The result is a very deeply colored Syrah with red fruit aromas and flavors, and most importantly, the long elegant finish for which Jean-Baptiste strives. Drink now-2009.