Domaine Santa Duc Prestige des Hautes Garrigues Gigondas 2011
Enjoy on its own or pair with garlic-infused mashed potatoes and celery root.
Blend: 78% Old Vine Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 2% Syrah
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
By dint of faith and sheer hard work, the wine-growers of Gigondas have replaced the olive tree with the vine. They have thereby made a name for themselves. Here, wild and uncommon, a bird watches over the domain : the Grand-duc owl which sings, (known as "Canta duc" in Provencal), his name has become over time "Santa Duc."
Domaine Santa Duc was first established in 1874 in the Southern Rhone cru of Gigondas. Yves stopped selling the crop off to négociants in 1985 in favor of bottling his own wine instead. The winery was recently certified organic in 2012. Yves practices de-budding early in the growing season to lend rigor to the fruit, leaf-pulling to increase circulation, and early harvests to preserve freshness. Yves farms 12.5 hectares oflieux-dits throughout Gigondas. Generous, fruity and concentrated, the vines reflect the soil and the way in which they are produced.
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.