Today was a day not to lose faith in the GPS. Sometimes it took me on some squirrelly back roads, cutting through a vineyard on a narrow dirt path, even when there's a main road running parallel just a few hundred yards away.
But to find Domaine Gramenon, located up in the hills in the small hamlet of Montbrison, I knew I would need to keep the faith and stay on target. My GPS has taken me on the scenic route before, but it's always gotten me there.
Of course, I blew past the domaine once before turning around and seeing it as I backtracked. I should've known after all this time, that I was looking for a modest house with blink-and-you'll-miss-it signage. Set amidst vines that have already dropped their leaves when most others are still hanging on to theirs, and with browning weeds just as high running amok in the vine rows, Domaine Gramenon doesn't look like much at first glance. But the wines made here are distinctive, sometimes nebulous or awkward, but never anything less than provoking for their display of unadulterated minerality, smoky, garrigue-infused fruit and long, earth- and ash-laced finishes.
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