Gigondas is the most exciting wine village in the Southern Rhône at the moment. Beyond its sleepy medieval façade and long-standing inferiority complex vis-à-vis Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, a Cru since 1971, is now re-establishing itself as a key appellation. It was ever thus, and the name itself (from the Latin jocunditas, meaning ‘merry city’) hints at an approach to life which is not without its merits. Jean-Baptiste Meunier took over this ancient family estate (dating from 1670, it is even older than Berry Bros and Rudd!) in 1988 and has quietly brought it to its current size of 9 hectares, with some of the Grenache vines now having achieved centurion status. Organic by inclination and with the occasional biodynamic impulse, Jean-Baptiste makes some of the best Gigondas that is available today. Their Gigondas Tradition is a blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Cinsault and 10% Mourvèdre. 10% is raised in used Burgundian barrels but the majority of the wine has been both fermented and matured in concrete, traditionally in other words. Simon Field MW, Rhône Buyer
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