The Gautier family’s small estate, Château de Lignane, is home to precious, gnarled old Grenache and Syrah vines. Every year these carefully nurtured heirlooms produce tightly knit bunches of dark, deep-flavored grapes. Your perfect taste comes from the excellent 2012 vintage – which yielded even deeper, richer and smoother flavors than usual. In fact, Decanter hails it as "a gem of a vintage," while Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate compares 2012's "rich, fruit-loaded" quality to magnificent 2009 (one of the Rhône's top recent vintages).
The Gautiers' winemaking know-how has been honed over generations in historic Rochegude (one of only 18 villages in the Rhône allowed to append its name on the Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages label). Their 2012 nabbed gold medals at a top local show (where competition is fierce) as well as in Paris.
Look for a deep ruby-red color, with aromas of plum and black currant merged with hints of licorice and wild herb (the famed garrigue of southern France). On the palate, it’s smooth and silky and full of ripe, spiced red and black berry flavors. It’s a perfect match for grilled beef or venison with an herb rub. (If you’re going all out, add some black truffle, just as they would at Robert Parker’s favorite Rhône restaurant, La Beaugravière.
Like all good things, however, there’s not much of Château de Lignane to go around. While the vintage was spectacular, yields were way down. Plenty of reasons to order promptly – we guarantee you won’t regret it.