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Domaine Brusset Gigondas le Grand Montmirail 2001

Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    0% ABV
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    Winemaker Notes

    Brusset's traditional Gigondas, Le Grand Montmirail, comes from a sunny, due South facing terraced slope. The grapes are harvested entirely by hand, and vinified without destalking for 15 days in temperature controlled vats. Next the wines are matured in small oak barrels for 18 months before release. Le grand Montmirail is brilliantly hued, carmine red in color, with aromas of sweet red berries and violets, very elegant and full bodied in the mouth.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine Brusset

    Domaine Brusset

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    Domaine Brusset, Gigondas, Rhone, France
    Thirty year old Laurent Brusset is the intense, perfectionist winemaker at this 52 year old domaine. Started by his grandparents in 1947 with three hectares of vineyards in Cairanne, today the total is some 85 hectares, with five hectares in the Cotes de Ventoux, 25 hectares in Mondragon (Cotes-du-Rhone), 40 hectares in Cairanne (cotes-du-Rhone-Villages) and the crown jewel, 20 hectares in Gigondas consisting of 68 individual terraces on an incredibly steep slope at the base of the "Dentelles de Montmirail".

    Vinification is utterly modern. Yields are kept very low (between 25 and 30 hectoliters per hectare for Cairanne and Gigondas) by close pruning and a vendange verte in abundant vintages. The grapes are all hand-picked, completely destemmed, and vinified parcel by parcel, varietals separated. During harvest Laurent may have almost 100 different microvinifications in the cellar, representing different grape varietals of some 60 distinct parcels. All are fermented in enameled steel vats with temperatures controlled at 28C with a day or two at 34C for maximum extraction. Following the initial fermentation and malolactic in tank, the separate varietals and parcels are blended for each wine, with inferior tanks being sold off to negociants.

    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 Côtes du Rhône 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 sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

    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 is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

    Perfect Pairings

    Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

    Sommelier Secret

    Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

    WWH357GMB12_2001 Item# 53827