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Domaine des Espiers Gigondas 2010

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Domaine Espiers Gigondas 2010, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines

In the midst of a week that’s once again celebrating the obvious benefits of the Mediterranean diet, including its recommended daily dosage of wine in your glass, we uncorked a bottle of Domaine des Espiers Gigondas 2010.  Certifiably organically farmed, the Espiers is a natural food that your French grandmother might have had at her table.  And while wine has been a staple of much of the western world’s diet for thousands of years, a simulation of the Espieres, with its lack of additives and its natural yeast fermentations, could somewhat be replicated in the home kitchen, thereby deeming it a natural food according to both Mark Bittman and Melanie Warner, whose just released Pandora’s Lunchbox, How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal offers a host of evidence that necessitates transparency in the farm, market and kitchen.

Established in Gigondas in 1988 by Philippe Cartoux, Domaine des Espiers consists of 9.5ha under vine in Gigondas (3ha), Sablet (2.5ha) and Côtes du Rhône (4ha).  And while Cartoux’s wines are made to be consumed young, he does bow to 19th century Old World practices by mimicking pre-phylloxera planting densities that once reached the likes of 50,000 vines per hectare, yielding wines with great fruit concentration.

A blend of Grenache (65%) and Syrah (35%) vines that average 35 years in age and are planted to limestone clay terraces, the Dm. de Espiers Gigondas 2010 is aged for six months in 225L oak barrels, one-third of which are new.   Juicy with plum and fresh berry notes accompanied by soft purple flowers, the 2010 Gigondas shows chewy tannins that grip the finish, balancing acidity and a hint of black pepper spice that lingers.

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