Monday, May 4, 2009

When Does 100 Equal 2000?

Redortier 2000 GigondasI'm nerdy to the point that I will plan social events around political happenings, so when my friend Shawn invited me for pork roast, steamed edamame, smashed taters, and Obama "100 days" news conference, how could I refuse? The only question is what I'd bring to drink. I went with lots of zeros that added up to much more than zero.

Chateau Redortier Gigondas 2000
Redortier is a somewhat unusual in the pantheon of southern Rhône producers. For one thing, they avoid all oak, even old neutral foudres, in favor of cement tank, as Etienne de Methon feels oak is "detrimental to grenache," according to this Chadderdon propaganda. For another thing, syrah is a very high 40% of the blend — and the rest is grenache, no mourvedre.

This wine shows medium body, good acidity, a good measure of raspberry fruit, dried leaves, a hint of pepper, and a fine-grained tannic structure. All these characteristics are well-integrated and they deliver complexity to the palate. I was actually a bit surprised that this wine tasted so fresh, and if it lacks the rustic, marrow-laden power of a Cayron, I'm OK with that. This relatively high-elevation Gigondas shows its own unique character.

I actually prefer Redortier's 2003 Beaume de Venise, as it has just a touch more sap and presence and weight than this Gigondas, but I have no room to complain. This went very well with all the food — yep, even the edamame — and I could easily see drinking this with everything from pasta to fish to steak, and be more than satisfied.

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