Gigondas is one of the 16 cru locations in Rhone river valley. Unlike the cru appellations of northern Rhone, where grapevines grow on the steep slopes of mostly volcanic origin, the southern part is characteristic for a more peaceful relief. That is why some of this appellation lies on the alluvial plateau along the mountain river of Ouveze, with the geological features slightly changing as the elevation rises – the clays and sands slowly turn into marly-limestone rocks that make the sides of a climber’s heaven – a smaller mountain range of Dentelles de Montmirail.
One of the chief characteristics that can be credited for the specific profile of wines from the southern appellations is blending under the appellation labels (northern cru locations usually involve varietal wines). The red Gigondas is a blend of Grenache, whose share goes from 40 to 80 percent, giving the wine its fruity character, warmth and body. Syrah and Mourvèdre mostly spice up the wine, aiding its strength and depth. The year 2007 had one of the best harvests in the past few years in the vineyards of southern Rhone, and particularly in Gigondas and the nearby, much better known Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The wines from that year were exceptional, with strong alcohol, rich and exceptionally harmonious, with a great potential for further development.
The pure ruby hue is still very lively, clear and of moderate depth. Red and dark fruits in the wine cellar “cellophane”, with interesting and unusual aromas of dry earth and green leaves (we found it impossible to decide what bush or tree this was, but the first association was a bunch of freshly picked branches of weeping willow). The nose is simply copied into the mouth (a well balanced mixture of ripe red fruits and an earthy component), where everything was accompanied with thick and ripe tannins that fill the entire mouth in a very delicious way.
More than solid 14.4 percent of alcohol by volume simply disappears in this wine structure. It is “consumed” by excellent acidity (it is simply unbelievable how with good blending you can turn a rich and alcoholic basic wine into a fresh and smooth final product) and wine extract. After the first tasting, the open bottle was placed into a fridge where it remained for around three days, after which we got a second chance to round up the impressions. Before the tasting, we poured the wine into a large wine glass, where it spent some 2 hours at room temperature. This proved to be a very good recipe. That is how we discovered the additional size and character of the wine on our second try. It was then when it showed its true face – strong, rich and most of all well rounded.
When the terroir is presented in this way, the personification of strength and elegance as two opposite poles are well balanced, and this is why they are the extremes that can be credited for the wine’s perfect harmony. In short, this is an unbelievably seductive and rich hedonistic wine, we wouldn’t want to share information about even with those closest to us.
This wine can be purchased in Vivat Fina vina wine boutique.
Best paired with:
grilled red meat, lamb or pork ribs, hard and very ripe cheese, boiled beef with a horseradish sauce