Gigondas is like a middle child. It will never get the attention of its older sibling, in this case Châteauneuf-du-Pape […]Keep Reading
Gigondas is like a middle child. It will never get the attention of its older sibling, in this case Châteauneuf-du-Pape nor the praise of the ingenue such as Vacqueyras, Rasteau, Cairanne or whatever recently elevated cru of the Rhône. Taking this analogy further it is always a reliable wine, usually never too flashy and frequently understated. It is often used in place of it’s older sibling and is always compared to it. If it could speak I’d imagine the first words it would utter would be, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”
Much like many of the appellations of the southern Rhône valley, the wines of Gigondas are based on the Grenache grape. It has a tendency towards rusticity if not grown correctly of vinified carefully. It is supported by Syrah and Mourvedre with smaller amounts of various other varieties. There are two types of wine made in Gigondas, red and rosé but the production of rosé is so small its mainly an academic point. Gigondas is red wine country. While you can find some white varieties in the area they are not permitted to use the name Gigondas so they are bottled as Côtes-du-Rhône.
Domaine des Bosquets is a property that has a long history in Gigondas. It is first mentioned as a lieu-dit associated with viticulture in a document from 1376. Its association with the vine continued into the 17th century when the Seigneur de Laval, a local provençale aristocrat established a farm and vineyards on the site of the current property. Some of those buildings survive there to this day. In the 19th century the estate passed through the hands of Eugène Raspail but it wasn’t until 1962 that it finally ended up as part of Gabriel Meffre’s constellation of properties. When he died the estate passed to his daughter Sylvette Brechet and her son Julien oversees the farming and makes the wines.
Eugène Raspail was probably the first person to describe the terroirs of Gigondas. He noted that there are three main soil types: more fertile dark clay, rocky limestone and clay and blue clay mixed with marl. While these differences may seem subtle they can have an impact on the final wines as limestone generally produces more muscular wines while marl and blue clay tends to produce fresher wines with more finesse. Domaine des Bosquets is located primarily on blue clay soils mixed with marl and small areas of sand. They have recently added an additional parcel located closer to the Dentelles which is richer in limestone making a bigger and richer wine.
The estate is 26 hectares in total. Grenache is the primary variety with small percentages of Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. The estate is farmed sustainably which is not difficult given the gentle climate in the shadow of Mt-Ventoux. The vineyards are tended by hand including harvesting. The grapes are destemmed when the reach the entrance of the recently build subterranean cellar. Fermentation and maceration occurs in stainless steel tanks and the wine is aged in barriques, demi-muids and concrete tanks. Currently there are four wines produced. A rosé in minuscule quantities from a blend of free run and bled Grenache and Cinsualt – part of which is aged in second fill French oak barrels that previously held white wine. The main wine at the estate is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault coming from vines of an average age of 50 years. The Syrah is aged in 228L barriques while the remainder is aged in a combination of 600L demi-muids and concrete tanks. Lieu-Dits is the name of a small cuvée made from their oldest Grenache vines which are planted on a sandy patch of soil surrounded by marl and clay. This cuvée is aged entirely in wood– both 228L barriques and 600L demi-muids. Recently they started bottling a fourth cuvée from 50 year old Grenache planted higher in elevation closer to the Dentelles. This cuvée is called Colline and like the Lieu-Dits, it is aged in barrique and demi-muids.Close