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The 2004 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas is another unequivocal success from one of the appellation's finest and most consistent producers. Once again, Dominque Ay has fashioned a sexy, seductive Gigondas that is both elegant and powerful. While most domaine bottled Gigondas can muster plenty of alcohol and brawn, they often fall short on charm, but not so with Dominque Ay's wines. Not only will his lovely 2004 Gigondas ward off the chill of a cold winter night, it will dazzle the senses with its heavenly scent: a combination of black fruits, roses and violets, pepper and spice. The 2004 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas is warm and generous on the palate, yet caressing and smooth right through to the finish. What Dominique Ay does so very well is capture in every glass of his Gigondas the glory and vibrancy of the Provençal landscape – the glorious sun, the pulsating sky, and the freshness of the evening breeze as it carries the singing voices of a chorus of cicadas. And as one would expect, Domaine Raspail's 2004 Gigondas offers up plenty of flavors to savor, too, including black fruits, oriental spice, and more, all if which are set in a silky smooth body and a sea of soft tannin. Moreover, the medium to full-bodied 2004 Raspail-Ay Gigondas is already a pleasure to drink. It will, however, continue to develop in the bottle for several more years. Allow this hedonistic Gigondas a few minutes of aeration before serving, and then put on a fire, take off your shoes, and relax with a glass in hand. Enjoy this charming wine at cool room temperature (60°-66° F), alone or better still with a friend. SantÉ!
The fine red wines of the southern Rhône and especially the 2004 Domaine Raspail-Ay provide superb accompaniments to grilled meats, especially lamb and chicken that are flavored with rosemary, garlic and black pepper. With such a glorious combination of food and wine, we guarantee you will soon be picturing the rocky terrain of the "garrigue" of the southern Rhône, inhaling the scents of rosemary, lavender, and wild flowers that infuse the summer air, and feeling the refreshing shade of a hot summer's day – Provence in a glass. What more can one ask? If you can't make a trip to the south of France, a glass of this Gigondas is most assuredly the next best thing. However, with all this talk about Provence, let us not forget the surfeit of culinary delights that await the intrepid gastronome, dishes like Ravioli Stuffed Lobster, Roast Quail, and sumptuous Ratatouilles. Traditional Italian favorites, such as Lasagna, Manicotti, and almost anything else with fresh tomato sauce, garlic, or olive oil, marry well with Dominique Ay's superb Gigondas as well, so set the table and let the good times roll. Enjoy!
Dominique Ay, the affable but serious minded proprietor of Domaine Raspail-Ay, makes a warm, charming, seductive Gigondas at his 40 acre domaine. Located on the terraces of the rugged Gigondas appellation, the last outcropping of the mighty alpine chain with the imposing rock formation of the Dentelles de Montmirail looming as a backdrop, this classic southern Rhône estate makes only about 8,000 cases of a single wine – a superb Gigondas. Although rich and full-flavored, Dominique Ay's Gigondas is a more elegant and fruit driven style of wine than what many of his neighbors favor, and it is better for it.
The Gigondas of Domaine Raspail-Ay is an artful blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre that is always ripe, generous, and rich on the palate. One can always count on this estate to fashion a wine with a mouthful of ripe, dark fruits – black cherries, cassis, and raspberries – with notes of licorice and black pepper in the background. Curiously, the tannins of this domaine's ethereal Gigondas always appear ripe and supple, too, mellowed no doubt by a hiatus of 20 months or more in large, ancient oak foudres. In addition, Monsieur Ay ages his wine several more months in old demi-muids in his refreshingly cool chais. The result is a wine with ripe, dark fruit aromas and a supple, rich texture that belie its 14% plus alcohol content. Miraculously, the fruit lasts all the way from beginning to end, before exploding in a long, ripe, satisfying finish.
Gigondas: A Sleepy Little Town with a Big Beautiful Wine
Gigondas, along with the neighboring villages of Vacqueyras and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, produces the finest red wines of the southern Rhône. Relying upon old vines of Grenache, married to lesser quantities of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault, Gigondas turns out a startling array of big, beautiful, tasty reds from nearly 2,500 acres of vineyards. Spanning a combination of soils, from the gravelly clay of the flat plains at the base of the craggy Dentelles de Montmirail, to the sheer bedrock of the Dentelles themselves, Gigondas is testament to the belief that in this enchanted corner of Provence one can even extract blood from stones, in the form of deeply colored Gigondas.
Originally the premier village in the sprawling Côtes du Rhône-Villages appellation, Gigondas was elevated to its own appellation in 1971. Quickly, Gigondas made a name for itself; and after several decades of notoriety the wine that bears the name of Gigondas has taken the world of wine by storm. Yet, the village of Gigondas itself remains one of the prettiest and least spoiled of the comely hilltop villages in this corner of Provence known as the Vaucluse. Nevertheless, Gigondas is a wine that has captured the palate of critics and savvy consumers alike. Today, the wines of Gigondas are highly sought after in fine wine shops around the world and they are increasingly well represented at upscale restaurants, whose clientele can appreciate the bold, extroverted, savory nature of this appellation's red wine. For the record, tiny quantities if white and rosÉ wine are also made in Gigondas, but only the red wine of this endearing appellation is entitled to the name Gigondas.
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