One would never expect such a racy, nuanced, vibrant rosé to come from such a warm and rugged appellation as Gigondas–then again, Domaine du Gour de Chaulé is not your average Southern Rhône estate. Run today by the searching, intelligent Stephanie Fumoso, Gour de Chaulé produces a Gigondas Rouge almost shocking in its spicy complexity and layered earthiness. Mercifully, it’s about as far from a hot-climate fruit bomb as you can find around these parts–and the “Amour de Rosé” is cut from the same cloth. Produced via direct press with no maceration, it combines Grenache and Cinsault (40% each) with a splash of Syrah, and Stephanie purposefully harvests her rosé grapes a week before those destined for the red wine in order to preserve acidity. The 2016 is a superb version of this wine, capturing the density and vivacity of the vintage–a monumental one in the Southern Rhône. The nose is an expressive blend of peach, white pepper, and evergreen, and the broad but focused palate brims with yellow cherries, red apples, and acacia honey. Bearing a very pretty silver-tinged salmon color, it shows not a trace of its near-14% alcohol. Those lucky few who grab some of the mere 200 cases we receive for the USA will certainly be delighted.
[The attached photo is of the wall at Nez!, a great local wine bar featuring Polaroids of quite a few Gigondas producers showing off their own “nez”…]