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The largesse of the 2005 vintage and the sophisticated style of winemaking practiced by Dominique Ay have combined to produce a powerful, complex 2005 Gigondas at Domaine Raspail-Ay. This is a wine that can be drunk now with great pleasure or cellared for three or more years. Although bigger, bolder, and more complex than usual, the 2005 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas retains its balanced charm and sexy seductive feel. It caresses the nose with fecundity: a mélange of red and black fruits, roses, violets, pepper, and spice. On the palate the 2005 Domaine Raspail is warm, generous, and loaded with flavor, yet caressing and smooth right through to the finish. What Dominique Ay does so very well is capture in his Gigondas the glory and vibrancy of the sun-drenched Vaucluse. In this vintage it is apparent that Ay has once again fashioned a sexy, seductive Gigondas – a wine that is both complex and powerful. Enjoy this full-bodied Gigondas at cool room temperature (60°-65° F), alone or with a friend. Santé!
The fine red wines of the southern Rhône and especially the 2005 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 of a wine? If you can’t make a trip to the south of France, a glass of Raspail-Ay 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. In addition, traditional Italian favorites, such as Lasagna, Manicotti, and almost any dish fashioned with fresh tomato sauce, garlic, or olive oil, marry well with Dominique Ay’s superb Gigondas, so set the table and let the good times roll. Enjoy!
Domaine Raspail-Ay is one of our favorite Rhône estates. It is easy to like Dominique Ay, the affable but serious minded proprietor of Domaine Raspail-Ay, and just as easy to be charmed by the warm, seductive Gigondas he coaxes from his 40 acre domain. 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 produces no more than 8,000 cases of a single wine – a superb Gigondas. Although rich and full-flavored, Dominique Ay’s Gigondas is made in a more sophisticated 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 domain’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 Provencal 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 known as the Vaucluse one can even extract blood from stones in the form of a vigorous, deeply colored red wine.
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