Beautiful Gigondas village, in the Southern Rhône, is a setting of stone edifices, narrow lanes and steep hills. I am here to taste the iconic wines of the area: Gigondas, Vacqueyras, & Beaumes de Venise. I’m finding truly excellent and affordable wines here.
The further south I go in my travels of the area, the more robust and serious the wines become. Northern Rhône wines are structured, elegant, delicate beauties. Southern Rhône wines are big, fruit driven, and food friendly. This charming old village is presided over by 11th-century Ste. Catherine's church, sitting up high, with its clock tower, belfry and old sundial. It's a fairly large complex of buildings and grounds still in operation. The narrow cobblestone streets below are lined with stone houses and shops.
While in the village, be sure to dine at Carré Gourmand restaurant. I ordered a medley of appetizers and enjoyed them with 2008 La Syrah de Pénélope Gigondas. Dark and mysterious, exuding a dusty, leathery, dark berry bouquet with flavours of blackberries, vanilla bean & dark chocolate, with firm tannins. The finish is surprisingly soft, satisfying completely. An intriguing wine of Cotê du Rhone.
More about Gigondas, the village: http://www.beyond.fr/villages/gigondas.html
Spectacular photos of Gigondas: http://www.gigondas-vin.com/terroir/les_dentelles_de_montmirail.php
Arial photo of Gigondas:
Carré Gourmand Restaurant: http://www.detour-du-chemin.com/
More about the wine: http://www.terroir-france.com/region/rhone_gigondas.htm