If we had only three words to describe the 2013 Lavau Gigondas, they would most assuredly be packed, pure, and polished. Wow! What a stunning contemporary rendition of Gigondas (50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre) the Lavau brothers have fashioned in 2013. Deep and amplifying aromas of blackberry, cassis, cherry, and anise meld with a light waft of the most pleasing incense to fill the nose. And on the palate, this heady Gigondas is downright juicy and ripe, decadent with luscious fruit flavors, but not the least bit flabby or over the top. Lavau’s 2013 Gigondas is held perfectly in check by ripe, polished tannins that afford it considerable body as well as a smashing finish, even in the ardor of its youth. Full and rich from start to finish, this modern style of Gigondas not only captures the magic of one of the Rhône Valley’s greatest appellations, it raises the bar. Enjoy the youthful 2013 Lavau Gigondas now and for the next 7-8 years. Like all fine red Rhône wines, it is best served cool at no more than 65° F.
One need not look far for accompaniments to the Lavau brothers’ majestic 2013 Gigondas. Certainly, the delights of the Provençal kitchen afford more than their fair share of wonderful pairings. For starters, charcuterie in its many forms pairs beautifully with young Gigondas. Country pâtés, sausages, and smoked meats enhance the fruit forward flavors and spice tones inherent in Gigondas, which make them especially good companions to Lavau’s Gigondas. In Provence, rabbit stewed in rich brown gravy and grilled lamb rubbed with generous quantities of garlic, olive oil, rosemary, and thyme provide perennial favorite pairings with Gigondas. A spit roasted chicken dripping with butter, olive oil and herbes de Provence makes for another grand accompaniment to Lavau’s splendid 2013 Gigondas. Spicy eggplant and zucchini dishes and traditional Southern Italian specialties such as lasagna pair beautifully with this wine as well.
Lavau has been wowing European audiences with their wines for some time, but the family’s wines have only recently made their way to our shores. We discovered this talented producer several years ago after tasting Lavau’s outstanding 2010 Gigondas, which we promptly chose as an International Wine of the Month Club selection. Since then critics and wine publications have jumped on the bandwagon. Lavau and the estate’s much coveted Gigondas are no longer “undiscovered gems,” as the Wine Spectator awarded the 2013 Lavau Gigondas (this month’s feature) 91 points and named it to that publication’s Top 100 Wines of 2015.
Brothers Benoit and Frédéric Lavau are the third generation in the Lavau family to make wine and the current guardians of the family’s success. Originally from St. Émilion, Bordeaux’s most picturesque wine town, the Lavau family has made wine in many locales, including the hills of Tunisia, before settling in France’s Rhône Valley in the early 1960s. Today, Benoit and Frédéric fashion a stunning array of Rhône wines from three cellars. The brothers’ most illustrious crus are Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Tavel, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. They also make a single village Côtes-du-Rhône from Rasteau along with several other tasty Provençal delights. We invite you to taste what the Lavau brothers have to offer.
Gigondas and the neighboring villages of 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 one can even extract blood from stones, in the form of deeply colored red wine by the name of Gigondas.
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