Stephen’s Pick: 2016 Château Gigognan Côtes du Rhône Les Vignes du Prieuré, $16.99

Southern Rhones are certainly not uncommon at our Wine Shop.  All of them are good, easy to drink, versatile, and proudly displaying their own, individual expression of garrigue; the word referring to the spicy characteristics shared by many Southern Rhône, red blends. In Chateau Gigognan’s “Les Vignes du Prieuré,” we find a medium-bodied 50/40/10 GSM made from judiciously selected, de-stemmed grapes. Each varietal was initially fermented in heat-regulated tanks along with a long, 15-day maceration.  Blending of the three varietals, malolactic fermentation, and ageing occurred in cement tanks, so for those of you who like to appreciate your red wines to their fullest, unadorned potential; you will greatly enjoy this oak-free, spicy, garnet-colored, flavorful creation – dripping with black cherry kirsch, subtle nutmeg, and extra spices on the finish. At $16.99, this versatile Rhône is a holiday-season compliment to hearty stews, soups, antipasto platters, and just about any combination of charcouterie.  My family enjoyed several bottles of Chateau Gigognan’s Côtes du Rhône during Thanksgiving and it was a hit!