Burgundy’s Grande Dame Makes Waves South
It’s no wonder that Jancis Robinson calls Anne Gros “one of the most respected wine producers in the world.” By the time she turned 25, she’d resurrected her family’s wine business and more than doubled the size of her father’s Burgundy vineyards in Vosne-Romanée. Her skill, sense of adventure, and need to be challenged led her and her partner Jean-Paul Tollot to the tiny Minervois village of Les Cazelles. They transformed terroir that Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate calls “spectacular, with diverse soil and exposure between each of the sites,” into wines like the sublimely generous and “superbly layered” 2012 Minervois La 50/50. Fashioned from hand-harvested grapes off vines planted 40 years ago, this red blend from La Grande Dame of Burgundy is drinking brilliantly now. At 50% off the release price a wine of this pedigree and complexity doesn’t come around often. This is a no-brainer case buy.
When Robinson asked Gros why someone with her incredible Burgundian pedigree would head to Minervois, she replied, “Because I’d turned 40 and needed a new challenge.” The winery she launched with Jean-Paul Tollot is more like a monumental accomplishment. Rather than making things easy and snapping up an existing Languedoc domaine, they built an ecologically sound house from scratch.
The wide age range of the commune’s vines ensconced in its limestone-rich soil is what proved irresistible to Gros. So did its elevation, which matched Gros’ property in Vosne-Romanée. The 2012 Minervois La 50/50 is a product of a true partnership; Gros and Tollot split the winemaking process evenly from the field to the cellar. Their collaboration results in a true table wine whose medium body and layered richness display strong Burgundian roots.