Domaine du Pesquier Gigondas 2017
The Domaine Pesquier Gigondas sports a beautiful ruby colour, dark and deep. This traditionally structured wine reveals itself slowly but steadily, first displaying red fruits and then notes of garrigue followed by cocoa and licorice root. The aromas are rich and layered, the palate is intense and silky, with a big body and finely-knit tannins. It represents the very best of bold, classic southern Rhône red wines.
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This heavy-hitting blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre pulsates with cassis flavor shaded by smoke, licorice and sweet spice. It’s a penetrating, voluminous wine but balanced briskly and finishes on bracing tannins. A bit hulking in its youth, the wine should improve through 2030.
The actual estate was created in the 1950s, producing olive oil as well. After the strong frosts of 1956, destroying almost all olive groves, Domaine du Pesquier was restructured. The vineyards and the wine became an important part of it, but it was only in 1971, when Gigondas obtained its proper AOC status, that wine became the leading product of the domaine.
Raymond Boutiere started selling the first Cuvee of the domaine in 1965, still under a Côtes du Rhône Villages label; together with his son Guy, he's the one who gives a real incentive for the development of the estate.
Nowadays, Guy and Mathieu Boutiere cultivate some 24 hectares of vines (17 hectares in AOP Gigondas, 1 hectare in AOP Vacqueyras, 2 hectares in AOP Côtes du Rhône, 4 hectares in Vin de Pays de Vaucluse), respecting terroirs and traditions. They only produce red wines.
The Southern Rhône 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.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.