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Domaine Saint Gayan Cotes du Rhone 2012

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    The red Cotes du Rhone from Domaine Saint Gayan does not follow the fashion for easy-drinking, light and facile wines. It is above all a wine of character, and a wine of the soil in the Saint Gayan tradition. The grapes come entirely from Cotes du Rhone Villages vineyards - in particular from Sablet, which borders Gigondas. Old vines ensure a full-bodied, broad and deeply-colored wine.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine Saint Gayan

    Domaine Saint Gayan

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    Domaine Saint Gayan, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    Domaine Saint Gayan represents the Southern Rhone as we like it most - outstanding natural beauty; a friendly, unpretentious family of hands-on vignerons; generous wines, gentle on the attack but with surprising depth and complexity behind; and eminently reasonable prices. The secret recipe here is great location plus old vines plus patience. One third of the vineyards are 80 or more years old, many are 100 years in age. The wines are traditionally vinified and only released when fully ready to drink, usually a whole year later than the competition. The whole range is excellent, with a particular mention for the straight Cotes du Rhone, which in fact comes 100% from 'Villages' rated vineyards and has to be one of the best value reds on offer in France.

    Cotes du Rhone

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    Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.

    The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.

    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.

    GSW60392012_2012 Item# 147047