Dominique Ay consistently fashions outstanding Gigondas as the racy, delicious 2014 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas will attest. The 2014 Raspail Ay Gigondas is a highly aromatic, richly fruity, and beautifully textured wine that can be drunk now with great pleasure or cellared for seven or eight years. It sports a brilliant ruby robe that strikes the eye and it offers an amplifying bouquet of black fruits, cherry, raspberry, and garrigue along with hints of violet flowers, pepper, and spice. In the mouth, the vibrant, elegantly structured 2014 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas works its magic, offering a delicious, textured mélange of Provençal 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 smooth but bold-flavored Gigondas at least twenty minutes of aeration before enjoying it at cool room temperature (60°-65° F).
Domaine Raspail-Ay’s superb 2014 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 2014 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 2014 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 Provençal day more than twenty-two years ago, and we have been a fan of his brilliant Gigondas ever since. Not surprisingly, Robert Parker, Jr, and a coterie of wine writers and critics subsequently discovered the Gigondas of Raspail-Ay and constantly sing its praises. It is easy to like Dominique Ay, the affable but serious minded proprietor of Domaine Raspail-Ay, and it is 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 in each vintage no more than 8,000 cases of a single wine – a superb Gigondas. Although rich and full-flavored, Dominique Ay’s Gigondas also displays elegance and sophistication, elements often missing in the wines of many of his neighbors, and Raspail-Ay’s Gigondas 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%- or 15%-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.
Gigondas and the neighboring Provençal villages of Cairanne, Vacqueyras and Châteauneuf-du-Pape produce 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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