Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Getty a Little Giggy (of is that "Jiggy?")

1898.  2006 M. Chapoutier Gigondas (Gigondas AOC - Rhône - France)

As much as I like the Rhône as a wine region in France (not that I've ever been there - but there's always hope), I don't drink Rhône wines as much as I might like to. Given that, maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised at how big and fruit forward this Grenache-dominant Gigondas was. If I hadn't opened the bottle myself, I could have easily been convinced that this was a big Aussie GSM (Grenache/Shiraz/Mouvèdre).

The exuberant extraction that's evident on the wine, with the pleasantly big nose and the dark fruit on the palate, makes me think that this is a wine made more in a modern style than one that strives for the nuances of terroir. I'm not going to complain though. I like a good whack of fruit in my glass.

Stylistically, Gigondas wines - and appellation requirements - are often compared to the near-by Châteaueuf-du-Pape region. The prices can be far more accommodating though - and who's going to disagree with that?

The M. Chapoutier website tells a brief little story about winemaking in the village of Gigondas - stating that the village was a winemaking area "up until the arrival of the phylloxera epidemic at the end of the 20th Century. As a consequence of the disaster, Gigondas chose to turn towards olive growing. However, following the "Black Frosts" of 1956 which destroyed the greater part of its olive trees, Gigondas reverted to winegrowing," replanting the region with high quality vineyards. Even with the new outlook, it took 15 years before Gigondas was granted appellation status separate from the Côtes du Rhône Villages designation.

I'd never heard of the "Black Frosts" before. So, that was kind of neat to read. Guess it just goes to show that there are more wine stories out there than you can imagine - but discovering some of those stories is one of the main reasons behind this Wine Odyssey of mine. I say, "bring it on."

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