THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT GIGONDAS
Gigondas is a town in the southern Rhône Valley, with its own appellation for red and rosé Grenache wines. The terroir covers 1230 hectares. The appellation occupies an area covering the base and slopes of the first foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The villages of Beaumes-de-Venise and Vacqueyras are located respectively south and west of Gigondas and benefit from very similar growing conditions. The terroir is characterised by a warm and dry Mediterranean climate and by the combination of calcareous soils (on the slopes of Montmirail in the east) and rocky, sandy, free-draining soils (on the flatter grounds to the north and lower to the West).
Red and rosé wines are mainly made from Grenache (up to 80% according to the laws on appellations), with varying quantities of Syrah and Mourvèdre, the two varieties with which Grenache is most commonly mixed in the region. Any Gigondas wine may contain a maximum of 10% of any variety sanctioned by the laws on the standard appellation of Côtes du Rhône (except Carignan). The style of wine obtained under the appellation is often likened to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, located only 17 km to the southwest. This style is bold, avant-garde, ripe and relatively rich in alcohol.
RANKING OF THE BEST WINES AND GIGONDAS VINTAGES BY ROBERT PARKER & THE WINE ADVOCATE
TOP 1: CHÂTEAU DE SAINT-COSME GIGONDAS “HOMINIS FIDES”
Louis Barruol has been at the top of his game since the late 1990s. In recent vintages, it has produced some of the best wines from the southern Rhône and France. The glories here are the unique Barruol vineyard / special Gigondas vintages, but consumers should not overlook the exceptional value offered by its Côtes du Rhône.
Tasting of 2010, 100/100 by Robert Parker:
“Pure perfection, the 2010 Gigondas Hominis Fides (200 cases produced) offers an exquisite richness, an extraordinary bouquet of red, black and blue fruits, mixed with charcoal, new subtle oak woods, forest floor and spice box. With fabulous richness, massive palate, finesse and subtlety that contradict its weight, weight, richness, precision and delineation, this remarkable Gigondas is perhaps the best wine I have ever tasted from this appellation. Give it 2-3 years to keep and drink over the next two decades.”
Best vintages of Gigondas Hominis Fides: 2010, 2007, 2015, 2011, 2016
TOP 2: CHÂTEAU DE SAINT-COSME GIGONDAS “LE POSTE”
Tasting of 2010, 99/100 by Robert Parker:
“An almost perfect performance. Its ink/blue/purple color is followed by aromas of flowers, blackberries, blueberries, ripe berries, graphite and camphor. It offers an aromatic blend of wonderful scents and strikes on the palate with a full-bodied and invigorating mouthfeel that reveals its full texture. A magnificent structure and a final of more than 45 seconds. An incredible feat in Louis Barruol’s winemaking.”
Best vintages of Gigondas Le Poste: 2010, 2016, 2007, 2017, 2012
TOP 3: DOMAINE SANTA DUC GIGONDAS “PRESTIGE DES HAUTES GARRIGUES”
This is a prestigious estate in Gigondas that is growing faster and faster. The Santa Duc estate is managed by the Gras family. Yves Gras is one of the great personalities of the southern Rhône.
Tasting of 2007, 98/100 by Robert Parker:
“Colored, yet another monster rich in fruit and texture. Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues 2007 is still closed (February 2017 tasting) and full of notes of smoked meat, ripe currants, black raspberries, garrigues and chocolate. Still young and dynamic, with its oak breeding covered with an abundance of fruit, it has incredible purity, ripe tannins and a finish that simply does not get tired. Are you among the lucky ones if you have any in the cellar.”
Best vintages of Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues: 2007, 2010, 2001, 2009, 2005
TOP 4: CHÂTEAU DE SAINT-COSME GIGONDAS “LE CLAUX”
Tasting of 2010, 98/100 by Robert Parker:
“A wine made from vines planted in calcareous soils. A great wine with subtle notes of earth, black fruit and flowers, as well as a huge full-bodied and pleasant sensation on the palate. Acidity, a little structure and tannin on the finish. It will be kept for 15 to 20 years. Drink it until 2034.”
Best vintages of Gigondas Le Claux: 2010, 2007, 2012, 2011, 2016, 2015
TOP 5: DOMAINE ST DAMIEN GIGONDAS “LES SOUTEYRADES”
Tasting of 2007, 98/100 by Jeb Dunnuck:
“Deeper and richer, with just a little more purity than Louisiana (another great vintage from the estate), the 2007 blockbuster Gigondas les Souteyrades (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre) is strong and decadent. There are huge notes of blackcurrant meat, smoked meat, liquorice and roasted Provençal herbs. Its ripe and sweet tannins add some extra attention to the finish and it is a sensational, creamy and heavenly tour de force in Gigondas.”
Best vintages of Gigondas Les Souteyrades: 2007, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011
TOP 6: DOMAINE SANTA DUC “GRAND GRENACHE 66”
Tasting of 2007 noted 97+/100 by Jeb Dunnuck (Oct. 2009):
“The estate’s new wine is an incredible achievement. It could easily rival, if not eclipse, the Hautes Garrigues of the same vintage with 5 to 6 years of age in bottle. Gigondas Grand Grenache 66 2007 is made from one of Yves Gras’ oldest Grenache varieties. The colour is dark purple and the wine is more backward than the Hautes Garrigues, which is somewhat surprising. Notes of crushed rocks (chalk), kirsch and blacker fruits, mixed with notes of truffles and forest soil, are followed by a full-bodied wine, sensational concentration, with massive extract and high tannins. This wine has great purity and potential. It should keep for more than 25 years. It is a great effort and it is worth looking for.”
Best vintages of Gigondas Grand Grenache 66: 2007, 2010, 2009, 2014, 2012
TOP 7: FAMILLE PERRIN GIGONDAS “CLOS DES TOURELLES”
Domaine Perrin is managed by Pierre, Thomas, Marc and Mathieu Perrin. The Perrin family owns the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate, Château de Beaucastel. The wines of Domaine Perrin are impeccably elaborated and reflect the true nature of the terroir from which they come. The wines obtained are all from the neighbouring appellations of the southern Rhône at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, such as Vacqueyras and Gigondas. The reds are based on grenache, but with other Rhône grape varieties, such as syrah, mourvèdre and Cinsault. The Perrins are one of the most reliable wine families in the Rhône Valley.
Tasting of 2016, 97/100 by Joe Czerwinski (Oct. 2018) :
“Entirely aged in the tuns, the Gigondas Clos des Tourelles 2016 is an incredible effort that can match the Châteauneuf-du-Pape de Beaucastel for this vintage. You taste all the ingredients – raspberries, cherries, tree bark, blueberries and spices – but they blend perfectly into a full-bodied, rich, long weightless and extremely agile wine. Yes, there is an attraction to drink early, but it should keep easily until about 2035.”
Best vintages of Gigondas Clos des Tourelles: 2016, 2012, 2017, 2015, 2014
TOP 8: DOMAINE DES BOSQUET GIGONDAS “LA COLLINE”
This estate was brought to the top of Gigondas and the southern Rhône by the talent and dynamism of the Brechet family, notably the young Julien Brechet and the consultant Philippe Cambie. Covering approximately 26 hectares, the estate produces three Gigondas wines: a traditional cuvée, La Colline and Le Lieu Dit.
Tasting of 2015, 96-99/100 by Jeb Dunnuck:
“From a small corner plot of the vineyard of La Colline, Gigondas La Colline 2015 is quite sensational. It is mainly Grenache which includes a touch of whole bunches and still ages in half-muids from one to three years. It has a huge nose of black raspberries, blackcurrants, roasted spices and garrigue in a stacked, full-bodied, concentrated and weightless style. It’s certainly with the handful of wines from the vintage not to be missed!”
Best vintages of Gigondas La Colline: 2015, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
TOP 9: FAMILLE PERRIN GIGONDAS “L’ARGNÉE VIEILLES VIGNES”
Tasting of 2012 noted 94-97/100 by Jeb Dunnuck:
“One of the superstars of the appellation, Gigondas l’Argnée Vieilles Vignes 2012 is a successful material. Still in barrel and showing even better than last year, it offers fast notes of kirsch, blackberry, dried earth and flowers for an impressive depth and richness in the mouth. Coming from sandy soils and pre-Phylloxera Grenache vines, it presents an exhilarating purity, ultra-fine tannins, a large passage in the mouth and a formidable length. It is a prodigious Gigondas that will have two decades of longevity…”
Best vintages of Gigondas La Colline: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
TOP 10: DOMAINE LA PALLIÈRES GIGONDAS “LES RACINES”
Owned by the Brunier family of Domaine de Vieux Télégraphe and the American importer Kermit Lynch, this estate is one of Gigondas’ flag bearers. The two vintages, Terrasse de Diable and Les Racines, are remarkable in the appellation. The maturing is strictly in tuns, allowing the differences in grape variety and site to be clearly distinguished.
Tasting of 2016 noted 94-96/100 by Joe Czerwinski:
“The Gigondas Les Racines 2016 was in his wrath at the time of my visit, but I still think she is the equal of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape of the Brunier family. Full-bodied and rich, but silky and almost lacey in texture, it combines raspberry and apricot notes with pretty herbaceous nuances to close on a persistent finish. It’s a gigantic Gigondas, made up of 75-year-old vines (80% Grenache).”
Best vintages of Gigondas Les Racines: 2016, 2017, 2015
Here is our ranking of the best wines of Gigondas thanks to the notes of the Wine Advocate team. Of course, other estates offer many excellent Gigondas vintages that could rival this ranking. Everyone must make their own opinion with tastings and the choice of vintage. We wish you a great wine tasting experience.