Dominique Ay has once again fashioned an outstanding Gigondas in his 2012 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas. The 2012 Raspail Ay Gigondas is a richly fruity, beautifully textured wine that can be drunk now with great pleasure or cellared for seven or eight years. It sports a brilliant red robe and offers an amplifying bouquet that thoroughly delights the nose: black fruits, cherry, garrigue, herbes de Provence and hints of violet flowers, pepper, and spice all come to fore. In the mouth, the elegantly structured 2012 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas truly works its magic, offering a delicious, textured mélange of Provencal fruits, herbs, leather and spice – all set in a framework of fine grained tannins that provide the ideal counterpoint to the wine’s irresistible fruit. A long, authoritative finish ensues, but without the rusticity one encounters in many other Gigondas wines. Give this outstanding Gigondas at least twenty minutes of aeration, and enjoy it at cool room temperature (60°-65° F).
Domaine Raspail-Ay’s superb 2012 Gigondas provides the ideal accompaniment to all kinds of grilled meats, especially lamb and chicken flavored with rosemary, thyme, garlic and black pepper. A glass of Raspail-Ay’s Gigondas with such pairings evoke fond memories of Provence and Gigondas in particular with its rocky terrain and aromatic “garrigue,” where one inhales the intoxicating scents of rosemary, lavender, flowers, and wild herbs that infuse the crystalline summer air. In a glass of 2012 Raspail-Ay Gigondas one can almost taste Provence. Lobster ravioli, roast quail, and thick sausage and bean laden cassoulets provide other superb accompaniments to Dominique Ay’s wine. Cheese and meat lasagna; risotto with sausage and wild herbs; rich pasta dishes made with fresh tomato sauce, garlic and olive oil; and smoked meats and cheeses also pair handsomely with Dominique Ay’s superb Gigondas. And if none of the previous pairings appeal to you, consider serving the 2012 Raspail-Ay Gigondas with the best pizza or calzone in town. Enjoy!
We first met Dominique Ay at his humble domain on a sun-drenched Provencal day more than twenty years ago, and we have been a fan of his brilliant Gigondas ever since. 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 each vintage 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 plenty of tasty notes of licorice and black pepper playing 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, Dominique Ay ages his Gigondas several more months in old demi-muids in his refreshingly cool chais. The result is a wine that exhibits ripe, dark fruit aromas and a supple rich texture that belie its 14%-plus alcohol content. Miraculously, the fruit in the wine lasts all the way from beginning to end, before exploding in a long, ripe, satisfying finish.
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