Domaine du Gour de Chaule – Gigondas
In the southern Rhone river valley there are the many and the well traveled Red Rhone Blends of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre etc. Of my many goals here, this is a great wine to explore the lesser known neighbors of the world’s great wine regions. The small AOC appellation of Gigondas is considered a sibling of the Chateauneuf-de-pape (along with Vacqueyras) and no less capable of producing beautiful wines.
A Grenache forward blend, the 2011 Domaine du Gour de Chaule imported by Rosenthal (an importer of family/independent wineries whom I put tons of faith in) is an excellent mid-priced (31$ at an overpriced market) example of what the Mediterranean climate of the southern Rhone can produce for your dinner table.
An inky, semi-opaque purple color, the wine bursts out of the bottle with an almost California intensity of fruit, yet within 30minutes settles down with herbal notes of thyme and a savory mineral streak. It’s easy to see why the wines of the hotter Rhone valley have done so well transplanted in California. The palate is still somewhat ripe (for those that prefer to drink their wines young, today is the day!) yet it is just beginning to show hints of mature aromas of mushroom and leather (with some time to breathe). This is definitely the most new world region of France with the alcohol reaching 14.5%! While lesser wines of the Southern Rhone should not be aged more than a few years, this one can be held on for up to 10 years from the vintage no problem. Those who like their wines with strong tannin and ripe fruit shouldn’t forget about it for more than a year. Others will find their patience rewarded with a complex, herbal wine with fantastic acidity and balance.
Cellar Rating- *2-5 years
Food pairing – Roast Chicken (with a robust sauce and accompaniments), Braises/Grillades, BB-Q