I'm making a special dinner tonight, and only because I feel like seriously cooking. I am dying to drink up some of the excellent stash of 2001 Southern Rhônes I got recently through Wine Gavel. I haven't made dinner yet, but the notes on the amazing 2001 Gigondas from Santa Duc couldn't wait.
This wine has an explosion of black fruits when it hits both your nose and your tongue. You can almost taste the struggle those vines went through to produce these grapes. There's a heady black cassis nose and dense blackberry on the palate. It has spicy overtones, like cardomon and sassafras.
The blend is usually very Grenache dominant, around 80% with Syrah 5%, Mourvèdre 10%, Cinsault 5% making up the rest. The soil is brutal clay and deep down is very rocky, so the fruit is deliciously concentrated, with the alcohol content still on the low side. See if you can find yourself a bottle and snatch it up. The 2001 is an especially great year, IMO, and if you can find the "hautes garrigues" version, all the better.
Through Wine Gavel, I paid about what a new bottle costs, but with the added benefit of almost 10 years of bottle age. Highly recommended.
Oh, the menu? Leek & Potato Soup, Fried Squash Blossoms stuffed with fresh mozzerella, Duck Breasts and white beans. Nice Acme bread. Some of my homemade Malvasia Bianca with the starters.