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Lavau Gigondas 2013

Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • WS90
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The natural exposure of this vineyard delivers a wine with high concentration, rich and well balanced. This wine is perfect with elaborated sauce dishes, a piece of meat and cheese. You can also enjoy this wine on its own.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Bright and racy in feel, with high-pitched red currant, cherry and raspberry coulis notes, laced with violet, white pepper and chalk details. The long, youthfully taut finish should settle in with mid-term cellaring. Best from 2017 through 2023. 5,000 cases made.
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Lavau
Lavau, Gigondas, Rhone, France
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The story of the Lavau family, with its passion for wine and its love of the terroir and the land, began in Saint-Émilion in the 19th century. It continued in Tunisia where René Lavau and his son transformed a small estate of vines and orange trees into a flourishing business which became the country’s biggest wine producer. Jean-Guy Lavau (René’s grandson) and his wife Anne-Marie returned to France in the 1960s and took charge of a small winemaking cellar in Sablet at the heart of the Rhone Valley. This would become the Maison LAVAU in 1965.

Some 30 years later, Frédéric and Benoît Lavau have joined the team at their family winery which has since become a renowned and respected name in Rhone Valley winemaking. They have secured the future of their winemaking business and completed and enhanced their expertise by becoming creators of cuvees and producers. They have purchased several vineyards in the Rasteau, Valréas and Côtes du Rhône appellations and entered into partnership with the Château Maucoil in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

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 sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

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 is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

PNTPT111378_2013 Item# 176030