Though Gigondas is often slated as the value alternative to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, I’m proposing a slightly different narrative for this inconspicuous southern star. For a long time, the notion that Chateauneuf-du-Pape was leaps and bounds ahead of other wines in the region was not incorrect. After all, the widely impactful champion of the Rhone, Robert Parker, so eloquently prophesized the virtues of the best wines from these sun-drenched slopes. However, his advocacy for Gigondas was unmistakable, “Gigondas is never a shy or subtle wine. Its appeal is its robust, frank, generous, extroverted character, in addition to its value. It is to be savored and admired because of these virtues” - yet, so was his disappointment, “so often the stunning raw materials that emerge from the vineyards are spoiled by defective upbringings...with a few overall improvements in quality, Gigondas could become one of the most sought-after wines in southern France.” At the time, the focus on fine wine production in Gigondas was not a priority, but not for lack of exceptional fruit.


The natural potential of Gigondas has always existed. The sleepy Provencal hillside town sits at the base of the Dentelles Mountains, its narrow streets inching their way up the rugged and splintered landscape. Though the villages of Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape only lie 15 miles apart, their terroir is worlds apart. Significantly higher in elevation, the jagged limestone formations of the Dentelles de Montmirail were formed over 50 million years while Chateauneuf-du-Pape lies on the valley floor, at the banks of the Rhone River. With a significantly cooler climate, the fruit ripened more slowly here. At the time, this was a disadvantage due to weather conditions. Fast forward twenty years and it’s a different story. With climate change, the grapes from the stony terraces of the Dentelles de Montmirail have no issues ripening, and moreover, the extended time on the vine allows them to develop an exceptional level of depth, vibrancy and tension. With significant development in southern Rhone's appellations over the past two decades, the quality produced has changed so dramatically that any notion of rank requires some serious reconsideration. Cut to the wines of today and Gigondas has transformed itself from an anonymous bulk wine appellation to a vibrant shining star, boasting some of the best estates in the Rhone.


As our wine today has been a driving force in an appellation that had long been in the shadow of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Brusset is extraordinary proof that Gigondas is capable of greatness. Though not a new producer by any means (founder Andre Brusset started growing grapes in 1929), we’re proud to announce that this leading estate is one of the newest additions to our portfolio. And as a lover of all things Rhone, we couldn’t contain our excitement any longer. From the prestigious 2016 vintage, we’ve received a small allocation of their Tradition Le Grand de Montmirail. The perfect introduction to this profound estate, today’s wine offers a taste of their “house style” - with a classic lean. Brusset was among the first estates in the region to introduce small barrels for aging their top wines, and over the years they have honed the marriage between fruit and wood to near perfection. Their Tradition showcases the more classic end of their lineup - with less time in wood, the wine boasts an exceptional purity of fruit with an unmistakable sense of place. From 6 hectares of vines grown in stony, alluvial soils, the wine is comprised of 70% Grenache, 10-15% Mouvedre, 5-10% Syrah and 5-10% Cinsault. The fruit is hand-picked, destemmed and goes through a cold maceration prior to a two-week fermentation using wild yeasts. Aged in used 300-500 liter oak barrels for 8-9 months, the wine is then bottled, unfined and unfiltered. Bold and exuberant, with notes of cherry and plum complemented by toffee, licorice and Provencal spice, this is a wine you can drink now and over the next decade. As a favorite among critics, Domaine Brusset has been instrumental in writing the history of Gigondas, and as such we’re excited to use this opportunity to continue to share the story of this leading appellation with their incredible 2016 Tradition Le Grand de Montmirail. As this producer’s wines have recently hit our stores, this is a rare opportunity to buy this wine for 20% off by the 6-pack. For as low as $21.47, this is certainly the best bang-for-your-buck you can find!



*Offer NOT valid in-store. Offer is made pre-arrival, with the wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in 8-12 weeks. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in CO, MA, NC, NJ, NY, TN, VA and WI. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, December 16, 2018.