Rick's Pick: 2005 Maison Bouachon Gigondas Duc de Montfort

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The Rhone Valley has two part: the Northern Rhone and Southern Rhone.  Northern Rhone is known for 100% Syrah or Viognier wines whereas the Southern Rhone is known for Grenache based blends.  Gigondas is an area within Southern Rhone, which means the wines are predominantly Grenache blends, but have a unique characteristic all their own.  The 2005 Duc de Montfort from Maison Bouachon is a great example of typicity.

APPEARANCE

Color: Clear Brightness: Star Bright Red Color: Ruby Rim Variation: Pink representing a few years of age Viscosity: Medium Plus with minor tear staining

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NOSE

Condition: Clean Intensity: Medium Plus Aroma: Youthful Fruit: Black Cherry, Red Cherry, Plum Earth: None detected Other: Violets, Cola, Leather

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PALATE

Sweetness: Dry Body: Medium Fruit: Black Cherry, Red Cherry Earth: None Detected Alcohol: Medium Acidity: Medium Plus Complexity: Medium Plus Finish: Medium Plus

Black fruits and red fruits come together one one of my favorite wine regions.  Gigondas is like the little brother to Châteauneuf-du-Pape with a little bit of Rosé production, but dominated by red wine.  Gigondas has a Mediterranean climate, unlike Northern Rhone, which has more of a continental climate.  The main geographical identifier of Gigondas is the Dentelles de Montmirail, which is a small mountain range dividing the region into two areas.  One area is hotter, while the other is cooler.

I found the 2005 to have just the right amount of age (although it'll get better).  Food pairings with this wine can be fairly easy—tonight we opted for grilled pork tenderloin with balsamic fig reduction sauce, and it was off the hook!  Let me know your suggestions in the comments below.

Cheers!

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Rick's Picks: 2009 Domaine Breton Bourgueil Cabernet Franc

Catherine and Pierre Breton are leading a new movement of organic viticulture in the Bourgueil appellation of the Loire Valley.  I've had a few of their wines and have been impressed each time.  Their sparkling wine made from Chenin Blanc is one not to be missed.

I came across Domaine Breton wines at Kermit Lynch, one of my favorite wine shops in Berkeley.  The 2009 Domaine Breton Bourgueil Cabernet Franc demonstrates why this producer is gaining popularity in trendy shops and restaurants in Paris.  There was some distinct chalkiness in this wine as there is in wines grown in Limestone soils.  Limestone is prevalent in the Loire valley, which is nice.

It's a red and it's 2009 vintage.  Do the math and you'll see this wine was harvested about 10 months ago, give or take.  Although young, this Cab Franc was singing like a bird right out of the bottle.  Rich, full and well made.  Here's a few notes:

APPEARANCE

Color: Clear Brightness: Star Bright Red Color: Garnet Rim Variation: yes, pink at the edges Viscosity: Medium

NOSE

Condition: Clean Intensity: Medium Plus Aroma: Youthful Fruit: Red fruits, black cherry, quince Earth/Chalk/Forest

PALATE

Sweetness: Dry Body: Medium Fruit: Black cherry, stewed plum, cola, olive Earth/Chalk/Forest Alcohol: Medium Minus Acidity: Medium Complexity: Medium Plus Finish: Medium

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