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Cotes du Roussillon Uncorked: Domaine Gardiès "Le Clos des Vignes" 2008

A timely article written by regular guest contributor, Helen Fortin, a passionate foodie and wine connoisseur; she is a certified wine-geek, and a frequent shopper of the SAQ in her hometown.

"To live in harmony with natures rough and wild side, to understand that everything comes from the soil and from the permanent attention that this brings to wine in your glass", this is Jean Gardies guiding philosophy.

I truly enjoy when I can get a good bottle of wine for a reasonable price, like many people, I hate throwing money down the drain. It’s frustrating, sometimes when I taste a bottle I just purchased and it’s just average or not that good, it feels like a waste of money. But on the other hand, when I do get a bottle I truly enjoy, I do believe “its money well spent” regardless of the price.

With that thought in mind, I want to tell you about this amazing blend I uncorked just last night, we had a great dinner with good friends; who we shared a very nice bottle of chilled, vintage, Dom Pérignon to start the evening off just right. Later that evening, we dialed in a Domaine Gardiès "Le Clos des Vignes" 2008 a substantial change in the price point, but what it lacked in price, it more than made up for it in quality. Once we got this wine uncorked, we were all overwhelmed by the beautiful aromatics flooding out the top of the glass, a bright and full bodied powerful nose, and lots of fruit dark fruit cassis tickling my nose. Honestly it smelled just blackberry jam, lots of dark fruits, hints of black berries, ripe blueberries, wow a really delicious tease and somewhat reminded me of a black licorice candy.

As my guests and I had our first few sips, were all were really taken back by this wines quality, its substance and delightful flavor profile. It had me thinking about picking blackberries and raspberry-fruit, this wine seemed to effortlessly intermingles the rich fruit, with leafs of fresh tobacco, forest floor, and sweet balsamic notes; while its silky texture seduced us with each sip, exciting us with its excellent minerality, and a fantastic overall structure

When it came to pairing; I love how it was able to stand up to my yummy Duck Rillettes Duck Rillettes; which basically is duck meat prepared in duck fat and it's oh-so tasty. In fact, I loved it so much, I had the “leftovers” for lunch on crackers with French brie cheese on top of the duck Rillettes. This wine, made for a perfect pairing companion to the duck, a match made in heaven or in France I should say [ha]. Seeing that both items are technically and delightfully a French creation. I get my duck-rillettes locally here Quebec where I live, oh-boy it was such a delicious paring; my mouth is still salivating just from thinking about it.

Good thing I still have a few more bottles of “Gardies” left in my cellar, and at a 15% abv, this is not a wine for the faint of heart. I did enjoy it very much and cannot wait until I will open another. I found this bottle of wine here in Québec selling for $32 in our local SAQ and although it sells for less in the states, I still thought it was worth every penny.

The blend is made predominantly made with Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre grapes and has some Carignan grapes thrown in for good measure. A grape used to give the blend a distinctive trait; distinguishing itself nicely from the more widely used GSM blend.

I thought the wine itself is ready to drink and is drinking nicely, but it could be left and forgotten in the cellar or in a basement for a few more years. Again this wine is delightfully full bodied, strong, and very seductive. Please join me in raising a glass to your health and enjoy cheers! For those of you that don’t have a liquor store near by, you may want get out there, and find a few bottles, don’t walk–run [ha].

Because for the price this will be the some of the best $30 you’ve ever spent, trust me. Lucky for you folks in the states, because I know this wine can be found in the U.S  for under $30; again I can’t overstate this enough, this wine really is great choice, makes for a great companion for duck, steak or anything off the grill, I enjoyed it so much, I'm sure you will as well, cheers!

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