80% Grenache 15% Syrah 5% Cinsault
I have a special little place in my heart for Gigondas, it was one of the first bottles that really got me into the world of wine.
The name Gigondas [jhee-gon-dahs] comes from the Latin Jocunditas meaning “great pleasure”, as the region was home to many Roman Legions as an area of recreation.
Grenache is always the main grape in red Gigondas, and is not permitted to exceed 80%, with the other varietals of Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault making up the rest.
The overwhelming majority of wine produced in the Gigondas region is red. Wines produced in the region are typically rough and rugged, very full bodied, leathery, with dark fruits, licorice and spice.
Gigondas (if made well) has the potential to age 10-20 years.
Bottles from Gigondas are usually embossed with the village crest (see below photo), however the Domaine Carobelle Gigondas bears the logo of Vignerons de Caractere.
The Rhone is divided into two distinct regions, the North and South. The North produces mainly pure varietal wine from Syrah grapes, whereas the South produces blends lead by the Grenache grape.
Gigondas is located in the Southern Rhone, 20 miles North East of the more famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine region, with Gigondas often being viewed as a “poor mans” version of the wine.
Due to the Mediterranean climate, winemakers must work diligently to make sure the Grenache grapes alcohol levels don’t get out of control.
One of the main features of the Southern Rhône is the use of large stones (galets) around the base of vines which absorb the heat of the sun during the day, and help to keep the vines warm at night. This helps with the ripening of grapes. Obviously they haven’t discovered the Snuggie in France yet…
Very dark red, almost black in color. The nose shows deep-brooding black fruit, plum and blackberry. Wow! Intensely chewy, with tons of tannin. The dark-rustic black fruit flavors continue with cedar, earth, black cracked pepper, forest floor, and wild mushroom qualities. Let this one open up, ideally for a few hours!
You absolutely need food with this wine! I would opt for dishes as robust and rustic as the wine itself. A menu including beef stroganoff, stews or even spare ribs would work well. This Gigondas would possibly also work well with hard cheeses.
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