Instructions: Hit play, and listen throughout whilst reading.

Verily, good day to you oh dearest of readers, as I humbly welcome you one and all to a very hoity-toity affair, being yet another premier.  I have cast aside my casual rubbish and donned a suit (or not) to pen this very dignified and very wordily named column, "Matthew's Shall We Not Partake In Wine?"

This inspirational column will only appear on the rarest of occasions, so, like a quality port or scotch whisky, enjoy it, savour it, bookmark it, tell your friends and clergy, and immerse yourself in this glorious world of fine wine.

The first jewel of the vine to be given the royal treatment is the Chateau Gigognan from the heavenly region of the southern Rhone region of France known as the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, which obtained its name from the Avignon Papacy of the Medieval Ages.


Chilled for twenty (XX) minutes prior to uncorking, this naturally corked wonder, which featured the vintage date stamped right atop said cork (2007, or MMVII) and a nice graphic print, poured a lovely deep red, which was intense, and richly regal - a little alliteration for my inaugural stately column, not unlike the Ionic or Doric!

The nose was robust and flavourful, featuring jammy, deep red/dark fruits of cherry, blueberry and others.  Truly, it was very strong, and rich too, and with an alcohol percentage of 15.5%, one should not be taken a back to utter, "O ho!" etc.

The taste was utterly sublime.  This wine was very deep and rich in its flavours and nuances, featuring more jammy wonder with further blueberry and other berry cohorts.  It was quite dry as well, with beautifully balanced tannins for a very pleasing drinking experience and no bitterness/sourness, as the fruits just completely envelop and overwhelm the aridity.  Its aftertaste had perhaps just a hint of spice, and the tannins did peek through the Firmament ever so gently as well. 

But! the wisdom of ye olde "back of the bottle" cannot be ignored, as it declared thusly in regards to taste and flavour: "This wine offers...aromas of...black currant and raspberry, white pepper and garrigue.  [The wine]...finishes with notes of licorice and pomegranate."

Garrigue?  Oh, a "type of low, soft-leaved scrubland found on limestone soils around the Mediterranean basin."  (Wikipedia.)   *cough*

Made from a blend of Grenache (a spicy, berry flavoured grape widely found in warmer climates and popular in du-Pape blends), Syrah (a type of Shiraz) and Mourvedre (a grape varietal used to make such potent, rich wines as this), the Chateau Gigognan was a velvety, gorgeous experience which I am very grateful to have had, largely in part to my dear wife's generosity in securing me a gift card to the LCBO, which I used to obtain this special treat.  Single adjectives will suffice in describing and summarizing this wine to you:

Robust!

Powerful!

Tour de force!

...Heavenly.

The Keys to Heaven as Christ is said to have handed to St. Peter feature prominently on the bottle's decor under a Papal Tiara.  I recommend you engage on a pilgrimage if not to France, but to your local wine proprietor, and pick up a bottle whilst you can; you will be blessed!

***3/4 out of 4

Purchased at a Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) store for C$39.95 (US$40.66).

From LCBO.com:

CHÂTEAU GIGOGNAN VIGNE DU RÉGENT CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE, 750 mL bottle
LCBO/Vintages #219899
Wine, Red Wine
15.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: 1
Made in: Rhone, France
By: Chateau Gigognan

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