The Weekly Wine: Gigantic Gigondas

Posted on 20 November 2008

 By K.L. Riley

Sometimes I crave
Rhone valley varietals and if you do I have the perfect wine for you. Gigondas is a small grape growing region in the South of France and is considered to be the little brother to Chateau Neuf Du Pape. The climate here is very Mediterranean and mountainous and the grapes yielded in this region are very concentrated and earthly. There are also no white varietals produced in this region, I was surprised read that the only varietals grown in Gigondas are Grenache , Mouvedre, Syrah, and Cinsault.

The Gigondas I tasted was made by Domaine Du Cayron and the vintage was 2005. I was overwhelmed by this wine because it has so much to offer on many different levels. My first observation was that this particular winery prints its varietal percentages on the bottle. In this case 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 14% Syrah, and 1% Mouvedre.  The hue is dark deep rouge and the legs are medium thickness. The aromas were extremely southern  Rhone French; bacon fat, raspberry, rhubarb, and pencil shavings. I had a hard time taking my nose out of the glass especially as the wine began to open. Once consumed the first sensations on the tongue were seeds, stems and tannins  accompanied by absolute dryness. The fruit was very mysterious and the body was of medium viscosity. This one definitely needs some time in a decanter but I decided not to in order to taste the wine’s progression from start to finish. I was amazed at how perfect and well balanced this wine was in the beginning. It exuded a certain ambiguous quality that kept me theorizing about how it developed  in the glass. After about 20 minutes the Grenache began to expose itself and tannins took a back seat to baking spices, tart cherry, thyme, and rhubarb. Throughout dinner the palette painted a different picture than the bouquet  while maintaining great integrity.

Gigondas’ are extremely powerful and somewhat rare to find in your local wine store so it might be a good idea to stock up on this wine, this way you can enjoy a bottle now and next year. It would be interesting to examine how different this wine will drink in a year or two, either way you will not be disappointed. 
Whenever I converse with patrons in my restaurant they always ask me about my wine cellar and ask for recommendations on how to start, or maintain theirs. I intend to focus on that topic soon, however if you have any questions or recommendations for me I would love to read them!

Wine quote of the week;                                        
 If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink:
Good wine – a friend – or being dry -
Or lest we should be by and by -
Or any other reason why.
Henry Aldrich 1647 – 1710
Five Reasons for Drinking

Categorized | Wine Lover