Gigondas, a powerful wine from the lower Rhône valley
It is a wine as exceptional as the scenery that surrounds its vines. The Gigondas appellation originates at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, sharp blades of limestone that rise towards the sky and form a natural amphitheatre around the commune and its vineyards. In the south of the Rhône Valley, in the Vaucluse, Grenache is the king grape variety. It is the basis of the red and rosé wines of the AOC Gigondas, which are among the best in the lower Rhône Valley.
General presentation of the appellation
Not far from the giant of Provence, between Orange, Carpentras and Vaison-la-Romaine, Gigondas is at the origin of a renowned wine of the Southern Rhône Valley. Between the equally famous appellations of Vacqueyras and Beaumes-de-Venise, the Vaucluse AOC extends over 1,230 hectares of vineyards at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail.
The Gigondas vineyard benefits from a favourable environment. The vines are grown on terraces on the slopes of the Dentelles and on the plain. It is generally the highest plots that produce the most sought-after wines. Here, the black Grenache is king, as in the rest of the Southern Rhône Valley. This grape variety can be completed by syrah and mourvèdre. Each winegrower, each estate, delivers subtle blends, which allows for a wide range of red wines, but also rosés.
The vineyards of Gigondas have developed considerably over the last few decades, without losing quality, on the contrary. The work and know-how of the winegrowers allow the Gigondas Cru appellation of the Côtes-du-Rhône to be among the finest references of the Rhone vineyards, in the same way as a Châteauneuf-du-Pape for example.
Characteristics of Gigondas
The Gigondas AOC wine can be recognised first of all by its embossed bottle. On the glass surface is engraved a shield decorated with the horn of the Orange family. It is underlined by olive branches and the inscription "Gigondas" can be read.
The red wines are distinguished by their very dark colour. It can take on tile-like tones as the wine ages. Gigondas is a long-keeping wine; it can be aged for 8 to 10 years or more. Its aromatic palette is rich and complex. The red wine offers a bouquet of ripe red and black fruits in its youth, such as cherry, strawberry, blackberry, blackcurrant and blueberry, to which spicy notes can be added. After a few years of ageing, it evolves towards undergrowth and truffles.
The red Gigondas wines are powerful, tannic, very structured, quite dense and often described as full-bodied.
Even if they represent only a tiny part of the production, the Gigondas rosés also deserve our full attention. They offer a deep colour and aromas marked by almonds and small stewed fruits.
How to taste a Gigondas
A red Gigondas is best served at a temperature of 15-16°. It is renowned for being the perfect accompaniment to game and venison: daubes, venison stews, venison legs and hare à la royale for example. It also goes well with red and white meats and poultry. Finally, a Gigondas AOC red wine is a good match for tasty cheeses such as banon de Provence, reblochon, rocamadour, maroilles or blue cheese.
A Gigondas rosé is ideal for a summer meal. It goes well with sunny dishes such as grilled meats, brochettes, charcuterie and salads. It also goes well with Asian cuisine. The serving temperature of the rosé is between 11 and 13°.