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Guigal Gigondas Rouge 2011

Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
  • W&S93
  • RP91
14.5% ABV
  • WS90
  • JS90
  • RP90
  • W&S93
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • D90
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • WE90
  • RP91
  • RP88
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4.2 5 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The vineyards of Gigondas are planted on hillsides at the foot of Mont Ventoux, directly north-east of the town of Orange in the southern Rhône Valley. The grape varieties are similar to Chateauneuf-du-Pape; Grenache (60%), Mourvèdre (30%), and Syrah (10%) predominate. The dry, stony slopes produce substantial wines that are deep in color, with flavors of ripe summer fruits and savory herbs. Marcel Guigal selects wines from small domains to produce a blend which is true to the appellation, yet polished, refined, and capable of aging many years. It offers among the best price/quality ratio of the Guigal portfolio. Gigondas is a perfect accompaniment to all hearty fare.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
This feels regal and old-fashioned in the best way, a gruff, gravelly Gigondas made charming by its subdued fruit and sweet earthiness. Two years in oak foudres - half of them new - has added a brown-sugar richness to the fruit; any charry notes have been incorporated fully, turning the flavors toward roast meat. Firm and savory, this is a pleasure to drink now, and it's sure to age well over the next decade.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Scheduled to be bottled early in 2014, the 2011 Gigondas is another excellent wine from the Guigals. The same blend and elevage as the 2010, it shows more red fruits and spice, with loads of kirsch, dried flowers, and garrigue, medium-bodied richness and a delicious, already approachable profile.
Range: 88-91
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Guigal

Guigal

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Guigal, Gigondas, Rhone, France

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in the ancient village of Ampuis, home of the wines of the Côte-Rôtie. In these vineyards that are over 2400 years old, you can still see the small terraced walls characteristic of the Roman period. Etienne Guigal arrived in this region in 1923 at the age of 14. He made wine for over 67 vintages and, at the beginning of his career, participated in the development of the Vidal-Fleury establishment.

Despite his young age, Marcel Guigal took over from his father in 1961 when the latter was victim to a brutal illness rendering him blind. Marcel's hard work and perseverance enabled the Guigals to buy out Vidal-Fleury in 1984, although the establishment retains its own identity and commercial autonomy. In 2000, the Guigals purchased the Jean-Louis Grippat estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage, as well as the Domaine de Vallouit in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.

In the cellars of the Guigal estate in Ampuis, the northern appellations of the Rhône Valley are produced and aged. These are the appellations of Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage. The great appellations of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône, are also aged in the Ampuis cellars.

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 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.

YNG324829_2011 Item# 137916