At the heart of the Valley of the Rhone, 10 minutes from Châteauneuf du Pape, Château Gigognan is the heir of a deeply rooted history that dates back to the time of roman colonization.
A spiritual and temporal lordship: The estate quickly becomes a fiefdom which formed a principality with Châteauneuf du Pape and Bédarrides, one governed by the archbishops of Avignon.
During the 17th and 18th century, the administration of Gigognan was entrusted to Lords from Provence by the archbishops of Avignon. Its prosperity gave it the title of a village with the rank of a municipality.
Since 1996, the castle knows a true rebirth thanks to Jacques Callet. Having been completely renovated, it was given back the charm of the great manors of Provence.
In 2012, a new team of expert professionals is brought together. The vineyard knows an unprecedented renewal and is the object of investments to reinforce the excellence of the estate’s wines.
Varietals: 60% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 15% Syrah and 10% Carignan
Alcohol: 12.5% by volume
The Terroir: Southern exposure on an ancient terrace of sand and limestone.
Vinification: Temperature controlled fermentation by cepage; maceration for 8-10 days depending on the grape; malolactic fermentation also occurs.
Tasting Notes: Smoke and spice on the nose with hints of red cherry fruit. On the palate, concentrated, jammy red fruits. There is a great balance with a touch of tobacco and plenty of white pepper spice on the finish.
Food Pairings: Pair with grilled lamb, beef or portabella, tuna, Mediterranean pizza and grilled sausages. Enjoy!
Out of the domaine’s 35 hectares (86 acres) lying at 350m altitude (over 1000 feet), just over 21 hectares are planted with vines whose average age is at least 40 years. Grenache is the main variety followed by Syrah with 6 hectares; and you’ll also find one plot of old Carignan.
In particular, it’s the rich and varied terroir that makes Coste Chaude special. This unique location stems from the region’s tormented geological history. In fact, 6 million years ago when the Mediterranean was completely dried up, powerful rivers tore off rocks from the Alps that now make up the conglomerated mass of the Visan plateau.
The Philosophy of Domaine de Coste Chaude: “Our farming methods reflect our aspirations to make quality wines. So getting healthy grapes is fundamental to the domaine’s philosophy.
Consequently, we use sustainable growing practices at Coste Chaude: applying fertilizers as and when the soil needs it, disease-control measures using environmentally friendly sprays or even natural grass cover to prevent erosion. This way of working is also a transitional phase towards grape growing taking a more biodynamic approach.
We deliberately do short-pruning – ‘cordon royat’ (double-cordon spur) – to keep production at between 30 and 40 hl/ha depending on each plot and the wine we want to make.
The vines are trained on several wires to allow them to grow a large leaf canopy and ensure perfect photosynthesis. We check all the different plots before picking to monitor grape ripening, which are systematically sorted on a table before going into the cellar.”-domaine-coste-chaude.com
Varietals: 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Tasting Notes: Dominated by Syrah, this wine is full-bodied and soft, with an appealing nose of raspberries and blackcurrant. Slightly perfumed with sweet cinnamon and ginger bread. Velvety on the palate with fresh and well-integrated tannins, and a surprising array of pepper and cedar wood flavors on the finish.
Food Pairings: This wine asks for fine cooking. Think of sweetbreads and morel mushrooms, venison, and lamb!
Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Rich and concentrated, and loaded with layers of complexity. Flavors of white garlic, cedar, and pork. 2010 is a tremendous vintage, and I’m so excited we were able to put a great Rhone like this in the club for you. Drink this with pot roast, and sit by the fire. Enjoy!”-JL
Located in the municipality of Richerenches, Domaine Mireille et Vincent covers 15 hectares on the left bank of the Rhone . Very famous for its truffles, the town is also known for its wines! The Domaine was founded in 1980s by Bernard Bizard, who before that worked at several other estates. Bizard named the domaine after the couple’s two children, Mireille and Vincent, with the first vintage in 1985.
History of Domaine MIreille et Vincent and its Relation to the Environment: The average age of vines at the Domaine is 35 years old, making the vineyards almost entirely old vines. These vines will flourish for up to 60 years, and account for over 45% of the vines planted in this area. The old vines of Domaine Mireille et Vincent are planted on hillsides with red clay and are more or less pebbly. These strong vineyards give the wine a powerful aroma. Other vineyards in the Domaine are located on old truffle fields, and enjoy a refreshing Mediterranean climate, including wind from the Alps. All of these environmental factors give character and distinction to the wines of this area, and especially the wines at Domaine Mireille et Vincent.
“We are not organic, but we believe in the environment,” said Bernard Bizard . Bizard implements new practices constantly to allow the grapes to truly shine. The Domaine produces three separate Côtes du Rhône: one white, one red, and a rosé. The white wine is crafted from traditional varieties (Roussanne , Clairette , Marsanne and Viognier) and have a light color with pale gold shades . The red is typically a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan and is characterized by spicy notes. Lastly, the rosé is a prettier style but has some spice as well.
Varietals: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan
Alcohol: 14.0% by volume
Tasting Notes: Cool and elegant, pure, and with a lovely scent of berries.
Food Pairings: Pair this wine with a hearty meat dish, ragu, or even a roast. This wine will be great with your Thanksgiving turkey as well.
Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Extremely flavorful, with notes of Worchester, garlic salt, and onion. A very pretty and delicate style, with beautiful aromatics. The vintage gives the wine ripeness, but it is not over the top. Enjoy with soups and stews.”-JL