Home > GoodDevelop, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews, VeryGood > Mature Gigondas for Christmas Eve

Mature Gigondas for Christmas Eve


I am indebted to Phil at MacArthur Beverages for selling me a few bottles of mature Gigondas.  The labels look a bit ratty as the Santa Duc was leaked upon and the Brusset is ripped but they came from a good cellar.  The fills and corks were spot on. I opened the bottles for our Christmas Eve dinner which included venison backstrap from two deer my brother-in-law hunted in Nebraska.

The 1989 and 1990 vintages in Gigondas, indeed in the Southern Rhone in general, produced excellent wines.  These wines are in fine shape, clearly mature, yet nowhere near declining.    They are evocative of fruit from cooler vineyard sites and rustic tannins compared to Chateauneuf du Pape from the same vintages.  The 1989 Domaine Santa Duc, Gigondas is my favorite of the pair.  It offers more fruit and fruit weight, which, when combined with the fat, earth, and leather, balances out the rustic tannins.  The 1990 Domaine Brusset, Les Hauts de Montmirail, Gigondas is fresher and brighter but does not have the depth of fruit nor complexity.  Both provided many hours of enjoyment, out of decanter, until the wee hours of Christmas Day.  It is a new reference point for mature Gigondas.

1989 Domaine Santa Duc, Gigondas
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre source from vines averaging 40 years of age.  It spent 12 months in old oak casks.  Alcohol 13%.  Aromatic with earth and leather.  In the mouth are clean flavors of red and blue fruit made attractive by hints of round fat.  There are still fine and ripe tannins which lend to the rustic, Gigondas personality.  With air it becomes more blue fruited in flavor.  In fine shape with plenty of drinkable fruit and complexity.  **** Now – 2028.

1990 Domaine Brusset, Les Hauts de Montmirail, Gigondas
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections. This wine is a blend of 55% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault sourced from 25 year old vines.  It was raised for 12 months in 100% new French oak.  Alcohol 13%.  Fresh and bright with an edge of cranberry flavor.  There is lively acidity with the regional gravelly tannins in the end.  Tons of grip with minerals.  ***(*) Now but will last for many years.

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