Wojciech Bońkowski
Wine & tea writing

Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues 2001

Posted on 20 July 2015

Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues 2001

Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues 2001

Last weekend, I’ve entertained my passion for Rhône wines with a special bottle. It came from the Weincontor shop in Wiesbaden which has been the source of several aged wines I reviewed on my blog. Here, I was after a mature example of Gigondas, arguably the best French expression of Grenache (after Châteauneuf).

Surprise surprise, after opening this wine was way too young and evolved. Amazingly, at age 12 it showed a big amount of tannins and a fairly ungiving mass of meaty, peppery concentration. Little fruit, but mostly fresh, crisp cherries, and a very dark colour further testifying to the youth of this wine. It actually took overnight decanting for this wine to really open up, revealing more Grenache fleshy, suave fruit. Based on that, this wine could well improve in the bottle for another 10 years.

Prestige des Hautes Garrigues is a fairly ambitious bottling from Domaine Santa Duc, a leading estate in Gigondas. Made with old vine Grenache and a minority of Mourvèdre, with splashes of Syrah and Cinsault, it is aged for two years in small and medium sized oak. It is the Mourvèdre that actually dominated the blend with its strong peppery edge. Old vine extract and two years of oak combine to give this wine its iron-cast structure. With time in the glass and decanter this develops towards liqueury, macerated fruits and bitter chocolate. The 15% alcohol is well woven in. It is a wine more impressive than charming: a brooding monster of a Gigondas. The 2001 Rhônes have aged particularly well. If you have any top bottlings form that year still in your cellar, give them more time.
Disclosure: this wine was my own purchase.