Patrick Lesec Gigondas Les Blaches 2001
Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
Gigondas Les Blaches gets its complexity and balance from the blend of terroirs: valley floor, mid-slope and high slope. It combines layers of intense ripe, sweet fruit with elegant, round, fine tannins. The 2001 vintage is delicious for current consumption. 85% Grenache, vines 30-70 years old. 15% Syrah, vines 20 years.
"Tank-fermented and aged, the outstanding 2001 Gigondas Les Blaches is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. With more layers, body, and opulence than l'Estale, it possesses a deep ruby/purple color as well as a rich perfume of melted licorice, creme de cassis, and flowers. Dense, pure, and ripe with sweet tannin, it is a seductive Gigondas to consume over the next 10-12 years."
Patrick Lesec Winery
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.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.