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Dom. Du Cayron Gigondas 2006

Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    0% ABV
    • RP93
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    5.0 2 Ratings
    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Expressing fresh herbs, this wine smells of basil, sage and peppermint, which give it an unusual but captivating perfume. Wild at first, it has a remarkable finesse. Far from the wines of competitions, this is a beautiful model of 2006 Gigondas, firm and capable of aging, but drinkable now.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Dom. Du Cayron

    Domaine Du Cayron Michel Faraud

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    Domaine Du Cayron Michel Faraud , Gigondas, Rhone, France
    There is a sense of focus and implicity at Domaine du Cayron. "I make one wine," says Michel Faraud. There are no cuvees reserves, no declassified Cotes du Rhone, only Gigondas. Happily, Faraud's years of conservatism have paid off. His wine is one of the most loved Gigondas on the market. When frosts in 1956 destroyed many of Faraud's olive trees (Gigondas was once planted almost entirely to olives) the family decided to start from scratch and plant vines from which the Domaine takes its name. Today their vineyard plots are scattered throughout the Gigondas appellation, the best vines being in the Col du Cayron, 1500 feet above sea level, nestled into the spiky Dentelles mountains, a site which produces low yields and rich fruit.

    Michel learned to make wine from his father, and he remains faithful to this old-world style, even if it means foregoing modern winery conveniences or ignoring trends of the market. "It's our wine, not theirs," says Michel. And the wines of the region are changing. "With all the new oak barrels, you can't even tell that it's Gigondas." One of his beliefs is to age his wine a couple of years in giant old oak foudres. So while other Gigondas producers are bottling and selling their current vintage, Faraud's wine still has another year to mature and develop.

    After harvest, the must soaks 15 days on its skin to gain color and extract. Michel's wife and three daughters, one of whom has a degree in viticulture and enology, all help in the vineyards.

    Gigondas

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    The Southern Rhone region of Gigondas extends northwest from the notably jagged wall of mountains called the Dentelles di Montmirail, whose highest point climbs to about 2,600 feet. The region and its wines have much in common with the neighboring Chateauneuf-du-Pape except that the vineyards of Gigondas exist at higher elevation and its soils, comprised mainly of crumbled limestone from the Dentelles, often produce a more dense and robust Grenache-based red wine.

    The region has a history of fine winemaking, extending back to Roman times. But by the 20th century, Gigondas was merely lumped into the less distinct zone of Cotes du Rhone Villages. However, it was first among these satellite villages to earn its own appellation, which occurred in 1971.

    Gigondas reds must be between 50 to 100% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre comprising the bulk of the remainder of the blend. They tend express rustic flavors and aromas of wild blackberry, raspberry, fig, plum, as well as juniper, dried herbs, anise, smoke and river rock. The best are bold but balanced, and finish with impressively sexy and velvety tannins.

    The Gigondas appellation also produces rosé but no white wines.

    Rhône Blends

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    With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

    In the Glass

    The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

    Perfect Pairings

    Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

    Sommelier Secret

    Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

    JWSCAYAA06C_2006 Item# 104551