"This dense ruby/purple-colored, medium-bodied 2003 Gigondas reveals dried herb, smoke, earth, raspberry, and sweet currant characteristics, excellent ripeness as well as impressive depth and delineation. There is also some tannin to be shed in this concentrated, structured 2003. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2015."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
Barrel Sample: 88-90 Points
The muscleman of the Southern Rhone, Gigondas is situated right under the rugged, rocky range of the Dentelles de Montmirail - a sign of the rustic, edgy flavor found in wines from the area. The region, once a Cotes-du-Rhone village, earned its own appellation in 1971. Producing reds and roses, Gigondas creates top quality reds sometimes rivaling its southwest neighbor, Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
The wines of Gigondas are muscular and robust. Kind of an old-school type wine if you will. Not concentrating on being high-tech, easy-drinking or smooth, this wine is an in-your-face red, daring the consumer to try it's spicy, leathery, soulful juice. Good producers are making wines able to age for up to 10 or 15 years, although if you like robust wines, you'll love them now too. Grenache is the main grape, making up to (but not to exceed) 80% of the wine, Syrah & Mourvedre make up the majority of the extra 20%, although some other Cote-du-Rhone varietals can be found in small amounts. Rosé is seen less in the export market, but make good, spicy, dry wines.
About France - Other regions
When it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and
Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.