2006 Maison Bouachon ‘Duc de Montfort’ Gigondas

Mission Codename: The Left Bank

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Send Agent Red on an undercover mission to France, to discover a fantastic and very limited Gigondas. Procure any available bottles for our deserving Francophone Operatives

Mission Status: Accomplished

Current Winery: Maison Bouachon

Wine Subject: 2006 Duc De Montfort Gigondas AOC

Backgrounder:

The Gigondas AOC is located just across the river from the famed Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation and adjacent to the famed villages of Lirac and Tavel. Under the watchful eye of the dramatically rugged Dentelles de Montmirail, known for its lacy look and not teeth as most visitors assume (Dentelle means lace, dents means teeth in French).

The wines of Gigondas must be made with no more than 80% Grenache, at least 15% of Syrah and Mourvedre with the remainder being no more than 10% of any local grape except Carignan. Today wine, from Maison Bouachon, is 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Deep garnet with pretty edges of ruby red to slightly lilac – in the right light. The core is darker, but maintains good clarity throughout. When swirled, the wine shows as tightly springy. When it settles, it leaves behind thick, branching tears that emerge quickly before running quickly down the edges of the glass

Smell – Medium intensity with an initial rush of spiced fruit, with notes of cherry, plum and cassis. These intermingle with white pepper, hints of black olive and earthy truffle

Feel – This medium bodied wine has a smooth and rich feel. The wine is dry and firm, with smoothly textured tannins that coat the mouth.

Taste – Bing cherry and strawberry on the attack, then darker and concentrated plum, herbs, black pepper and earthy dried mushroom and tangy sweetwoods appear. These are backed by solid acidity and flinty spice. Flavors evolve on the palate, moving from sweet and tart, to more mineral-dry – and then back to sweet – well into the finish

Finish – Clean and long with flavors and sensations that evolve as a lingering minerality and textured tannins firmly hold the fruit and mineral characteristics in check as flavors tail off slowly

Conclusion – This is a very interesting and delicious wine that took me by surprise. While Gigondas has often been called “poor man’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape”, I contend that this wine is just as good as – or even better than – some CDPs I have had the pleasure to try. Where Chateauneuf is often reported to be bolder and more spicy than a Gigondas, today’s wine has plenty of character, including a good amount of spice. Allow the wine time to open up, and be rewarded with richer and more authentic fruit flavors.

Mission Report:

The Wine Spies are always excited when our assets bring us exclusive wines (today’s selection is only available at retail through The Wine Spies) of character and distinction, especially when they are from regions and Terroirs that have real history.

The Gigondas AOC, often overlooked by its neighbor Chateauneuf-du-Pape is just one of those places. While we love Chateauneuf-du-Pape, we find that the wines from Gigondas, while having similar flavors are not as intense on the palate. That’s not to say that these wines lack focus, quite the contrary. These wines are approachable and fun but also show classic aromas and flavors that we love so much.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the the Gigondas AOC in France’s southern Rhone can be seen in this satellite photo.

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