Domaine Saint-Damien ‘La Louisiane’ Gigondas 2004

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I seem to be drawn to Rhone wines, particularly those of the Gingondas region in the Southern Rhone. Something about the rough brambly texture, the dried dusty fruit and depth of concentration in these wines consistently brings me back. Add to that the great value of Gigondas and you can be sure that I will continue to tend in this direction.

It is also interesting, after having consumed a relatively large number of wines from diverse regions, to come back to the region that started it all for me. Consistently I seem to just prefer wines from the Rhone over any other region and it is somewhat comforting to know that even with a broadened palate, I’ve managed to stake a claim to wines that feel like ‘home’, despite my never having actually visited the Rhone. I suppose the metaphorical Odyssean in me has found the scent of sea air in a bottle, despite all the siren calls and lotus eaters on the way.

This Saint-Damien is simply put a superb wine. Dusty baked earth and cherry alcohol on the nose. The palate is peppery, slightly tart and savory and has a long, structured and potent development. None the less, this is not over the top, sugary or overly fruity. I love how Rhone wines give power without the cashmere texture found in wines from Napa or Australia. This roughness makes the wine feel more authentic to me. Even at 15% abv, this paired beautifully with wine reduced stewed beef.

Very Good+ to Excellent (and highly recommended)
$38 at Marquis

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