My wine friends (especially Barry) will kill me if I spend a month drinking modest wines for their "novelty values", so I thought I'd throw them a bone with this Southern Rhône treat...
While Gigondas may be a source of inexpensive alternatives to nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the 2001 Domaine Santa Duc Prestige des Hautes Garrigues certainly exceeds the prices for many CDPs. This wine creeps up on you: simple violet and prunes at first, flowering over the evening, adding precious scents of dark berry fruit, coffee grounds, leather and damp forest undergrowth, some liquorice - curiously port-like later on. Dry, crisp cherry fruit on the palate - very flavourful and not the bruiser that you might expect from the nose (or that 15% alcohol!). The tannins are a bit rugged, but were tamed by oxygen and should be housebroken after a few more years in the cave. A Rhône blend of Grenache (80%), Mourvèdre (15%), Syrah (3%) and Cinsault.
cork. 15% alcohol
Price: C$58 (SAQ)