Laudun & Chusclan Vignerons Gigondas Les Travereses 2006
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.
Named for its naturally high level of tannins, Tannat is a brooding, rustic, dark red wine that sees its origin in the Madiran region of France. Similar to Malbec’s journey to Argentina from France, Tannat made a similar move in the early 19th century but landed in Uruguay in the hands of Basque settlers. Today Tannat thrives in its warm South American climate, producing a bold, black fruit driven red. Somm Secret—Uruguay producers have the freedom to blend firm Tannat with any other grape whereas Madiran law restricts Tannat’s blending grapes to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and the indigenous grape, Fer.