I rarely find myself reaching to the Southern Rhone as my first wine of choice.  But I found a little gem from Saint Damien in my parent’s cellar on the 4th of July and thought that the bold Gigondas palate might pair nicely with BBQ Chicken and other patriotic treats like baked beans, ghetto potatoes (a secret family recipe), coleslaw, etc.  Whereas in years past we might have reached for a Ridge Zinfandel, the Gigondas seemed like a good similarly styled alternative, and it proved right.  Bold plush fruits that were as American as Blackberry Pie were matched with savory spice that seemed to standup to the spicy American fare.  Would I normally reach for such a wine?  Well, no I wouldn’t, but when a bolder statement is called for the Southern Rhone can be a solid play especially when it comes from such a fine producer.  Saint Damien has been called out by Robert Parker as one of the brightest stars in Gigondas, but I won’t hold that against them as the wines have excellent purity and are produced without the artifice of new oak and other modern bollocks.

Saint Damien 2004 Gigondas “Vieilles Vignes”

Fragrant pure purple and red fruits veering towards sweet blackberry pie.  Savory herbs and spice are also present.  New oak is thankfully not present.  This is a pie of a wine that some will adore.  Drinking well now, would love to see if this gets more savory with another 5-10 years in bottle.  RECOMMENDED