Many years ago Paul Provost and I spent an afternoon tasting with Neal Rosenthal. We made our way through a large group of Neal’s imports and came away with a few ideas for wines in the Rosenthal portfolio that would be successful at Table & Vine. The biggest winner that day was the 1998 Gigondas from Domaine Gour de Chaule, we staked claim to 25 cases, and the wine sold very well. This was part of a great growth on my part to exploring the Southern Rhone beyond Cotes-du-Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Learning about Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and beyond as the affordable alternatives to Chateauneuf, but the big brothers of Cotes-du-Rhone, was very exciting. I have held Gour de Chaule in high regards ever since, and we have sold plenty of it over the past number of years. A few weeks back when Vinous Media posted a tasting report on current Gigondas releases I was thrilled to see our old friend Gour de Chaule as one of the top scoring wines and we have good access to the wine.
Gour de Chaule Gigondas 2016- $34.99- I tasted the wine yesterday, and as I spoke with the sales rep from Rosenthal he said something that stayed with me the rest of the day, “this wine is about the long slow aging process, bottled after the third winter from harvest the wine is allowed to mature prior to release.” The high score from Vinous and my own personal feelings on this wine are that it is not a flashy wine, it is a more traditional and subtle wine. Gorgeous red fruit and exotic spices, this is a fabulous value for this price and an amazing wine that will give you pleasure now and for the next decade, maybe more.
From the Rosenthal website- The Domaine du Gour de Chaulé, situated in the heart of the village of Gigondas, was founded in 1900 by Eugene Bonfils, the great-grandfather of the current proprietor, Stephanie Fumoso. All the wine produced at the estate was sold in bulk to negociants until 1970 when Madame Rolande Beaumet, the grandmother of Stéphanie, began to bottle a small percentage of the estate’s wine for sale to private clients. Madame Beaumet’s daughter, Aline Bonfils, ascended to the head of the domaine in the early 1980s and it was under the direction of Aline that the tradition of estate bottling expanded significantly. The domaine comprises 15 hectares, 10 of which are in Gigondas. Aline Bonfils believes strongly in Grenache as the heart and soul of Gigondas and she has transmitted this philosophy to her daughter, Stéphanie. Thus, 85% of the vineyards are planted to Grenache, with approximately 10% dedicated to Syrah and Mourvedre and the balance planted to Cinsault
Vinous Media- “95 points. Vivid ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and pit fruits, potpourri and garrigue, and an exotic spice note emerges in the glass. Stains the palate with sweet raspberry, cherry and lavender pastille flavors that steadily put on weight with air. Conveys a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes extremely long and floral, with fine-grained tannins lending discreet grip.”