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A New Arrival from Gigondas

A New Arrival from Gigondas

by Jane Augustine by Jane Augustine

2022 Gigondas

2022 Gigondas

Domaine de Durban   

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Domaine de Durban    France   |  Southern Rhône   |  Gigondas

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Throw a rock (or a riverbed stone) in the southern Rhône and chances are you’ll land on a bottle whose contents, for the price, wouldn’t hold a candle to Henri Leydier’s Gigondas from Domaine de Durban. Bottled in small quantities, it is ounce for ounce one of the best bargains in our book, and perhaps the entire region.           
     Squarely cut and sturdily built, Henri is a third-generation winegrower who inherited the hefty hands of someone destined for arduous vineyard and cellar work. A glass of wine in his grasp looks fragile, almost miniature. But like Henri, his Gigondas—densely concentrated and deeply opaque—is more refined than meets the eye. Grenache and a generous dose of Syrah are entirely de-stemmed, and never come in contact with oak during fermentation or ageing. The resulting wine is distinctly smoky and sculpted, with structured tannins, and a whiff of wild violet. It’s a striking wine whose Syrah qualities really shine.
     Last time I visited the estate with colleagues to taste with Henri, he served up heaping plates of black olive tapenade, slabs of chunky pâté, and perhaps the most versatile dish around—anchovy pizza! With an easy, gap-toothed smile and gentle gaze, Henri poured one vintage after another of cool Gigondas from his chilly stone cellar. He left us feeling charmed and welcome, and so did his wine.

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Terroirs

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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