Established in 1900 in the heart of Gigondas, Gour de Chaule is now run by the founder's great-granddaughter, Stephanie Fumoso. This is a female-driven property as Stephanie's grandmother and mother were both actively involved in making the wines and establishing the property's domaine bottlings. The estate is comprised of 15 hectares planted in the surrounding region, 10 of which are within the appellation of Gigondas. Grenache is the main grape variety, making up about 80+% of the blend with Syrah and Mourvèdre making up the rest. Grapes are harvested manually and never destemmed. Elevage is in large oak foudres where the wine rests for about 18 months when it is bottled unfined and unfiltered. The end result is a traditionally made and balanced wine that reflects some of the best that Gigondas has to offer.
From the importer: There are several important vineyard sites that form the base of the Gigondas that come to the USA, including Gour de Chaulé, Les Blaches, and Les Bousquets. The average age of the Grenache vines planted within these plots is 55 years (as of 2011). Production levels generally average 30 to 32 hectoliters per hectare. The grapes are harvested manually and are never destemmed. There is a three week cuvaison. A small amount of press juice is added back to the cuvee. Malolactic fermentation takes place in cuve and, after the malolactic fermentation is complete, the wine is racked into large oak “foudres” where it stays for approximately 18 months.
Tasting Notes: The wine is racked no more than three times before it is bottled – unfined and unfiltered – 30 to 36 months after harvest. New oak is not used at this domaine. The resulting wine is sturdy, braced with sweet, dusty tannins, and is intensely aromatic with notes of crushed white pepper, oriental spices, and game.
Pairing: Red meats and game will go well. Also, mushroom and pepper sauces work. Most seafood will not work with this wine, but a Tuna or maybe even a Salmon with a rich sauce.
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