|In front of the tasting room.|
Gigondas is located to the north and east of its more famous cousin, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and its wines are often unfairly compared with those of its nobler neighbor. I find them to be more rustic, and a bit more earthy than the elegant juice of The Pope's New Castle. But that's not a bad thing. Quite the contrary. They are different wines, different terroirs, and though the grapes are often of the same breed (GSM, et al), they have different pedigrees. Tonight's selection is composed of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.
This wine pours a medium ruby in the glass. It takes a while to open; despite allowing it a chance to breathe, it started off a bit tight. The label says that it is best enjoyed within four to eight years of vintage, and so may perhaps be a bit on the young side. Medium bodied, the first thing one notices are the significant tannins on the palate, and a hint of plum, perhaps cassis on the nose. The fruit notes in this wine are quite subdued, both in its bouquet and flavor. Where it really excels is in its savory notes.
|Pierre Amadieu's signage as you enter the village of Gigondas. Notice me holding my purchase.|
But, enough with the bad analogies. Despite the restrained fruit, this wine has a fantastic balance of tannin and acidity, and has a lingering finish. Strong, savory notes dominate, making this an excellent alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon for a meal containing red meat. You can pick this up at Total Wine for $19.99 while it's still on sale. After December 2, be prepared to pay a few bucks more.