I am a fan of unoaked Gigondas as it can represent good value compared to neighbouring Châteauneuf du Pape. Gigondas is another ‘cru’ from the southern Rhône, the region’s top level of wine, and this wine is a typical blend of Grenache and Syrah or Shiraz, though unusually this 50:50 mix has more Syrah than many other producers use. Grenache brings rich fruit and structure, Syrah elegance and perfume.
Domaine des Pasquiers has been in the Lambert family for three generations and is now run by brothers Jean-Claude and Philippe. Their Gigondas vineyard is a small 1.10 hectares in size and on a limestone clay plateau which adds minerality to the wine. Certified organic, this wine is fermented and aged in concrete tanks to avoid any oak masking the fruit flavours.
This is a lovely perfumed wine though it can seem a little closed at first; after a swirling in the glass the nose offers red and black fruits, hints of chocolate, truffles and warm spices. The palate does not disappoint with complex and concentrated flavours of ripe sweet fruits – raspberry, strawberry, blueberry – and spices – black pepper and cloves – plus that Rhône-typical herby character that evokes the local scrubland or ‘garrigue’. Tannins are muted and soft for such a complex medium-bodied wine which brings a certain elegance. There is a long, complex finish; this is a fabulous Rhône wine.
Read about the Rhône crus and other appellations in my Rhône red wines blogpost.