Château Gigault is located in Mazion, north of Blaye, and its 14 hectares of vine splay across a hill just 4 km east of the broad Gironde. Soils here are clay and chalk, and their cépage is dominated by Merlot with a little Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc. Viticulture is traditional but the estate uses no herbicides. Fruit is hand sorted then fermented in temperature-controlled tank, and the wine ages in equal parts new, 1-year, and 2-year barriques.
It has a fresh aspect despite the ample 2010 vintage, and its deep ruby color sports a clear rim. The body effuses a fragrance of black cherries, juniper, juniper berries, and cedar, and its texture is smooth and velvety, with finely ribbed tannins, bright acidity, and an astringent cherry-coffee wake-up before the finish flames out in sharp red fruits.
It’s not a complicated wine, but the acid backbone truly makes it.
14.5% abv | About $20 (sample)