Red, Ready, but will keep

2012 Gigondas, La Gille, La Famille Perrin

2012 Gigondas, La Gille, La Famille Perrin

Red | Ready, but will keep | La Famille Perrin | Code:  21327 | 2012 | France > Rhône > Gigondas | Grenache/Garnacha | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

89-91/100

WA - Also with loads of character and outstanding potential, the 2012 Famille Perrin Gigondas La Gille comes from sandy soils and exhibits pretty, fresh notes of kirsch, red currants, spice and hints of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, with plenty of finesse and an almost Pinot Noir-like silkiness to its texture, this impressive effort will have 7-8 years or more of longevity.

Covering a full 175 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape, with significant holdings throughout the Southern Rhone (mostly vinified at and released under their Famille Perrin brand), Chateau De Beaucastel is a benchmark estate that excels at all price points. Looking at the wines reviewed here, 2011 is surprisingly strong (especially for the Chateauneufs) and with their perfumed aromatics and supple textures, they show a lot of similarities to the 2009s. The 2012s as a whole show more freshness and purity, with good concentration, and should require more bottle age to come around. Both vintages are worth seeking out. Looking at the 2011s across the board, all of which were in bottle, it appears to be a strong vintage here. While the vintage suffered due to uneven ripening in the Grenache, it was actually a solid vintage for Mourvedre and this shows, particularly in the Chateauneufs.
Jeb Dunnuck - Wine Advocate #209, Oct 2013

The Producer

La Famille Perrin

La Famille Perrin

The Domaine Perrin is a négociant brand created in 1997 by François Perrin and his brother Jean-Pierre, Pierre's father, and since 1999 run by Pierre. The Perrin family are owners of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Château de Beaucastel.

As with the wines at Beaucastel, the Domaine Perrin wines are impeccably made and reflect the true nature of the terroir from which they come. The wines made are all from the neighbouring Southern Rhône appellations to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, such as Vacqueyras and Gigondas. The reds are based on Grenache, but with other Rhône grape varieties, such as Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault.

The Perrins are one of the most reliable wine families in the Rhône valley, truly a name to look out for.

The Grape

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache/Garnacha

Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.

In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.

Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.

 

Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.

The Region

Gigondas

Gigondas

Gigondas has been renowned for the quality of its wines since Roman times, although it was not really until it was classified as a Côtes du Rhône Villages in 1966 that it began to realise its potential.  It achieved AC status in 1971 and today produces some of the finest, most underrated and under-priced wines in the Rhône valley; although, for the last two of these at least, probably not for much longer.

Gigondas' 1,200-hectare of rugged vineyards are located east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, beneath the famous mountains of Dentelles de Montmirail. Gigondas produces sumptuous, plummy reds with a good structure and a sprinkle of pepper. It is similar to (if a touch less slick than) good Châteauneuf-du-Pape which, at its best, it can challenge and even surpass.

Made with a maximum of 80 percent Grenache, combined with at least 15 percent Syrah and/or Mourvèdre, the rest can be made of any of the varieties authorized for Côtes du Rhône – apart from Carignan. The wines can normally be broached after two to three years, while the best repay ageing for 10 years or more. The region also produces dry, Grenache-dominated rosés which are good but can sometimes lack a little vitality.

Recommended Producer: La Bastide St VincentDomaine Montirius

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