Gabriel Meffre ‘Sainte Catherine’ Gigondas 2017
Grape Varietals: A blend of Grenache & Syrah
Growing Region: Gigondas, Rhône Valley - France
Head Winemaker: Véronique Torcolacci
Back in 2018 I had the pleasure to spend a few days with the team at Gabriel Meffre in Gigondas - France. This estate has a tightly intwined history with the region, since being founded in 1936. During my visit I had the opportunity to taste this wine in barrel, along with a comprehensive tasting of their full range, which is substantial in number and expressions. It was a pleasure to spend time with Véronique, who not only crafted this wine, but has an incredible knowledge of the region, the soils and traditional varietals which cling to the sides of this rugged and mountainous area.
I had the opportunity to visit these picture-postcard vineyards that were used for this wine, with their 40+ year old vines (with some new plantings in-between) growing in an ancient mix of marl limestone with sand and clay. The bush vines grow in a Mediterranean climate, which are significantly influenced by the dry Mistral wind that is key to their varietal character and balance.
The hand-harvested parcels were fermented separately and for different periods, with the Grenache having 3 weeks and the Syrah grapes having 4 weeks fermentation at controlled temperatures. Then a small portion of the cuvée was aged in a mix of aged oak barrels and the rest in tank for 12 months, then blended together.
✱ As you pour this wine into a glass you will be greeted by a deep red colour with shining hue. This vintage is a blend of Grenache and Syrah resulting in classic aromas of red fruits, small berries, violets, dried herbs, a dash of allspice and wild floral notes. All of these forward characters flow onto the elegant palate celebrating those vibrant berry fruits with balanced fruit acidity, silky smooth tannins, dovetailed toasty oak nuances and a lean mineral seam, adding a regional signature. The wine is well structured, with a medium to full bodied palate, a harmonious varietal integrity and a lingering dry finish.
This 2017 Gabriel Meffre 'Saint Catherine' Gigondas has 14% Alc./vol. Classic dry style. No decanting required and serve in an appropriately shaped wine glass at 16°- 17°C. *NZ$49.99
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 20/8/22)
Drinking perfectly well this season; plus will age nicely for another 4 - 5 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with mild red meats, rabbit, slow roasted pork & lamb, mushroom pasta & pizza, varied tapas’, earthy vegetarian cuisine and hard cheeses - enjoy.