TN: First time among the round stones of CdP and Gigondas

FIRST TIME AMONG THE ROUND STONES OF CDP AND GIGONDAS - Chateauneuf-du-pape, Gigondas (10/2/2018)

Wife and I visited Southern Rhone on a beautiful day in October. We arranged several tastings in advance. Because we were on vacation, and therefore slightly lazy, we did not quite get to everything on our agenda. That said, we had a pretty great introduction to wines of this region.
Chateau de Saint-Cosme
First time ever in a “show up and taste” scenario in France. Nice lady but a bit of an awkward setup. I didn’t know the wines so wasn’t really certain what I should be trying.

Caveau du Gigondas
Multi-producer tasting room which we hit up before lunch. Some of the wines tasted like they’d been open for a bit, which is not my thing.

  • 2015 Domaine du Grand Bourjassot Gigondas Cuvée Cécile - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
    Inky wine. Slight open bottle taste. Notes of Jolly Rancher, touch of tertiary note (probably due to open bottle), tobacco, leather. Medium alcohol, medium acid. (88 pts.)
  • 2015 Domaine les Pallières Gigondas - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
    Inky black as well (was it the lighting?). Stemmy, with sap, red fruit on nose. Moderately elegant. More syrah character. Strong acid core with fruit underneath. (89 pts.)
  • 2015 Famille Perrin / Perrin & Fils Gigondas Domaine du Clos des Tourelles - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
    Also deep and rich inky black wine. Fruit forward, spicy, complex. Balanced, with a touch of vanilla. (92 pts.)
  • 2016 Moulin de la Gardette Gigondas - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
    More typical nose but some open bottle scent. Good structure. Red fruits, spice, pepper. Lighter on palate, clean finish, some pepper. We ended up purchasing one of these and sipping it that evening (EUR 19). (91 pts.)

Chateau la Nerthe
Elaborate tasting room and cave visit. Nicely organized and run. We were accompanied, though, by a couple of private wine tours, one of which had an irritating, know-it-all guide. I’m glad he took the time to explain how wine aging works to me, a complete stranger who didn’t ask him.

This was the standout of the day. Grumpy guy with what I think was a Breton accent who warmed up to us after we showed strong interest. The wines were great - balanced, clean. I’ll buy more of this.

Dinner at L’Essentiel
Pretty disappointing dinner. I think this place has gone downhill since the last time we ate here, which was admittedly nine years ago. Many things have changed since then, including us (FOR THE BETTER!!!). We did have a pretty nice wine at dinner though.

Our overall tasting experience was quite good. CdP is a pretty commercial place and wine tasting is big business, but we never felt like we were cogs in a machine. I can’t say that we were giant CdP wine lovers, though - I tend to get a strange bitter snap from them and my wife finds them too big. But worth adding a few of them to the cellar for the occasional excursion.
Posted from CellarTracker

“CdP is a pretty commercial place…”

OMG not even close to places in California. Napa is a wine Disneyland in comparison to the laid back CdP.
No club offerings, no nibbles. No glasses to buy. No polo shirts or bottle openers to purchase.

Well two days later we went to Beaujolais, which was more of a “wander into a hippie’s shed”-type experience, so perhaps it seemed commercial in comparison. I do recall t-shirts for sale at Vieux Telegraphe, so there’s that.

Crap, had I known that I would have bought one.

We found our experiences very laid back. Zero effort to sell wine and more about introducing us to their wines. Very, very different than wine tasting in the USA.

Sounds like you had fun. [cheers.gif]

Gigondas, January 2017:
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North side of CdP, January 2017. The vines tilt toward the east because of prevailing winds from the west:
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Nice pics John! Do you have tasting notes or a tasting story?

Here’s a few of my own. Note the sweet round pierres in the vineyard.

Finally, a picture!

(I was hoping to see the actual stones!)

That, I remember. Coffee table books, too.