Tonight’s dinner was a Provençal Zucchini and Potato Gratin Casserole. I wanted to pair it with a French wine (OF COURSE!), and was looking for something from Provence. When I went into our cellar, the ’08 Domaine du Cayron from Gigondas caught my eye! Okay, it’s not from Provence, but it IS from the Southern Rhone, which is pretty darn close geographically speaking. And it was a great match!
A few years ago I was fortunate to visit Gigondas, 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 Mourvèdre. The remaining blending varietal is usually Cinsault, but may be any other red Rhone varietal except Carignan. Confused yet??? One of the top producers of Gigondas is Domaine de Cayron, and I’m happy to tell you that their wines are distributed here in the U.S.
Now the 2008 vintage in Gigondas is not known to be stellar. The summer months were cool and had lots of rain, but I find this ’08 Domaine du Cayron to be fabulous. It has lovely plum, cherry and loads of licorice. There’s also a bit of garrigue, which pairs wonderfully with the Herbes de Provence I used in the casserole.
I have a 2010 (considered a great vintage) waiting for me next to the empty slot where this ’08 sat. I’m sure looking forward to pairing that with something special too!