The wine is Domaine Les Pallieres ‘Les Racines’ 2010, a big Gigondas of 14.5% ABV. Gigondas, in the southern Rhone area, was the first of the villages to earn its own AC, back in 1971. The rugged, stony vineyards ‘looks down on’ (the words of the Gigondans) its better known neighbour, Chateauneuf du Pape and has more calcareous-based rock. Up to 80% of the blend is Grenache with Syrah and Cinsault sharing 15% and Clairette making up the remaining 5%. For this wine, the average age of the vines is 65 years. The colour was dense black with a red rim but the most striking appearance was that of its viscosity. The nose was initially quite dumb but later developed gentle mint notes, suggesting Syrah, and some strawberry bouquet. The palate was one of dark fruits – particularly damson – and a surprising lack of tannin made the wine quite gentle, which contradicted our expectations. Although lacking in finesse this was still enjoyable, if a little rustic, and would best accompany food with pronounced flavours.
[Richard, from a WS mixed case of 2010 Gigondas, bought en primeur, around £19 all in. This wine made little impression on me – I didn’t take notes – and is not a type I’d buy anymore. Too alcoholic and too long to mature. Not unpleasant of course, just a bit ordinary. I’ve another bottle to try next year so we’ll see.]