Grenache Purity 
Gigondas: The Grand Tasting
New York City, November 18, 2013

The Dentelles de Montmirail peaks that tower over the Gigondas region.

few weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend a tasting of Gigondas wines hosted by their appellation group Syndicate de Gigondas that represents the producers and growers of this tiny Southern Rhone region where the Grenache grape is king. Multiple vintages were poured, but the majority were 2011, 2010 and a sprinkling of 2009 and 2012. For the longest time I always thought of Gigondas as “more affordable Chateauneuf du Pape look-a likes” that under-achieved. While that may have been true in some aspects in the past, what I tasted this day was to me “quintessential Grenache from Gigondas”. Part of this is my palate appreciation getting better and from what I think are the wines being made in a fresher, more pure style, especially for the Grenache.

Made famous by Kermit Lynch and Robert Parker, Gigondas is a neighboring region to Chateauneuf du Pape. The styles of the wines are similar in many ways, but if one were to generalize the Grenache from Gigondas might be a touch more opulent and elegant then from CdP. The blends from CdP and Gigondas in general are similar with Grenache usually 60-80% of the blend, Mourvedre and Syrah being the second largest portions in the 10-20% range, while Cinsault and the other legal varieties make up 5% or less on average.  The best part are many of these wines are under $30, many on the $20-25 range.

Gigondas is famous not only for its wines, but for the ancient limestone mountain range



Leave a Reply