St.-Damien’s proprietor, Joel Saurel, has positioned this estate alongside the appellation’s two traditional superstars, Domaine Santa Duc and Chateau Saint-Cosme. St.-Damien was an Early Christian saint (martyred in the year 287 A.D.), considered the patron saint of doctors. There was a chapel to his honor in the tiny hamlet of La Baumette, just outside the village of Gigondas, where Saurel lives. Saurel’s ancestors thus took the name St.-Damien for the domaine. La Baumette is the "hot corner" of the Gigondas appellation, with great exposure, and galets soil like Chateauneuf.
Some of the oldest vines of the appellation are in this area, and Saurel owns a nice chunk of them. This is from old vines (some over 100 years old) and is over 90% Grenache. It sees traditional vinification (no new oak here!) and bottling without fining or filtering, result in full-bodied, complex classic Gigondas.