E. Guigal 2013 Gigondas ($32.99)
Dark ruby color, with reddish-violet glints against the light. Pleasant, typical Southern Rhone aromas, raspberries and black plums and just a hint of stewed plums lead into a full, ripe flavor of plums and berries, adding a bold, distinct impression of freshly ground black pepper that comes up and fills both the nose and palate. Good fresh-fruit acidity provides balance, and tannic astringency becomes increasingly obvious in the long finish. This is a very good, balanced, table wine, on a continuum with Chateauneuf-du-Pape and made from a similar blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre. It carries its 14.5% alcohol with grace. U.S. importer: Vintus LLC, Pleasantville, N.Y. (Dec. 16, 2017)
FOOD MATCH: This is a red-meat wine, perfect with steaks or roast beef. It made an extremely good match with a sample of the new Impossible Burger.
WHEN TO DRINK: It’s good now, but the tannins would likely benefit from cellar time to evolve into something more complex. If you have good cellar conditions, try holding it until at least 2021.
At Wine-Searcher.com’s $32 average retail (which matches my local price), it’s a wine for a special occasion. It’s a good one, though, and what special occasion is more appropriate than the winter holidays?
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