November 6, 2013

Domanie de la Tourade, Gigondas, Southern Rhone Valley, France, Red Blend, 2010

Gigondas is located near the center of the Southern Rhone Valley. When you look at the map of France you will see that Rhone is on the eastern side of the south of France. Because of the Rhone's geography, its climate is more Mediterranean than Atlantic. Simply, the winters are more mild and the summers are warmer than the harsher winters of the northern Rhone Valley. With those hot summers brings ripeness and large flavors, much like Napa. What sets the Rhone Valley apart from the Napa Valley is the Mistral, multifaceted bedrock that is close to the surface, rain patterns and latitude. So I guess the only real similarity is that both places get a lot of sunlight.

The style of wine in Gigondas is nice and unique, but not in a bad way. Jeeze I can't think. Here, I'll hand it over to James Moleworth:
Gigondas is defined by the Dentelles de Montmirail (literally, "lace of Montmirail"), the jagged, limestone formations that jut above the small town and reach 2,600 feet at their peak. The Dentelles have crumbled for millions of years, creating pockets of limestone-rich soils on its slopes while mixing with alluvial fans on the plateau below. 
This terroir combines with the significant elevation and predominantly northern and northwestern exposures to produce wines that, at their best, have more finesse and perfume than their cousins from Châteauneuf. As Louis Barruol, owner of Château St.-Cosme points out, "Gigondas has more in common with Burgundy than it does with Châteauneuf."

Dark cherry almost tart palate, with a long finish of mint/eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary.  Pungent in the first 1/2 hour of decanting, really started to show around hour 2. 2010 is a big year in the Rhone and it shows. At 14.5% ABV this is no little wine. With that high alcohol percentage you have to have some new oak to scrape off the edges lest you make jet fuel.

Since it is so young and drinks better with some decanting, I paired it with a five day fridge aged Porterhouse. The match was beautiful. The alcohol held the texture of the meat and the finesse of the wine kept the nutty flavor of the "dry" age in the for front. Don't worry about the color, in the beginning, beef begins to lose color from oxidization.

For the wine I would like to conclude by paraphrasing Rajit Parr, "You can be balanced at 12% and you can be balanced at 15% it isn't the alcohol, it's the balance."

ABV: 14.5%
Cases Made: less than 2,000
Price: $

Good links for Gigondas:
James Molesworth, "Gigondas"
When you see the tasting note 'girrigue'
This wine on Wine Searcher

1 comment:

Eric said...

Looks like you're living the good life.