After visiting the Northern Rhone Valley, Gigondas was our next stop.
Gigondas is a charming village located near Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Southern Rhone. It is also an appellation that produces some fabulous wines, both red and rosé, with its vineyards sitting below the dramatic rock formation called the Dentelles de Montmirail.
For many decades all of the wines of Gigondas were simply Côtes-du-Rhône, but in 1966 they were elevated to Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages. In 1971 Gigondas was deservingly awarded its own appellation. By law, the red wines of Gigondas can be made of no more than eighty percent Grenache, and no less than fifteen percent Syrah and/or Mourvedre. The remaining blending varietal is usually Cinsault, but may be any other red Rhone varietal except Carignan.
One of the top producers of Gigondas is Domaine de Cayron. I have some of their wines in my home cellar and was excited to visit them. Sadly when I arrived for my tasting the winery was closed and I received no response to my knocks on the door or rings of their bell.
Thankfully, not far down the road sits the Caveau du Gigondas. Here one can taste a plethora of Gigondas wines (over one hundred!), including wines from Domaine de Cayron! The tasting room is a large, modern space that has many wines along the walls. At the tasting bar we bellied up and were offered as many tastes as we liked, all being poured from small bottles that were filled directly from barrel at the respective winery.
My husband and I tried many, but not all, of the wines. One of our favorites was the 2010 Domaine La Bouïssiere Gigondas Le Font de Tonin. This full-bodied wine is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20 % Mourvedre. Its floral and dark fruits on the palate are well concentrated with nice minerality. We bought a couple of bottles that will sit in our cellar for a few years, because they need some more time to evolve.
The Caveau du Gigondas is a GREAT place to taste. It was quite busy while we were there, but nonetheless the service was wonderful and the fellow tasters very friendly. We were given a written list of each wine available to taste, and we were able to pick and choose our preferences. One man we met had tasted them all!!! I sure do hope that he wasn’t driving!!!
If you’re in Gigondas be sure to plan a visit. They are located right next to the town hall and the tourist information office. They are closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day, along with 15 days in January. Otherwise they are open daily from 10am – 12pm and 2pm until 6pm. You can check out their website at: http://www.caveaudugigondas.com/