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« I call BS | Main | Whence the Wood? »

04 September 2006

An Australian Chateauneuf?

Cigale Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2004 ($19)

92 pts Wine Spectator Web Site (1/25/06)
Peter Schell and his wife Magali Gely came to the Barossa from New Zealand, but their hearts are in France, where Gely's family still owns vineyards near Montpellier. Their wine, a dead ringer for a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, is rich and spicy, with a gorgeous core of blackberry, blueberry and plum fruit, shaded with smoky white pepper notes that keep ringing through the long, beautifully balanced finish. Tannins are there but well-submerged. Best from 2007 through 2016.

After reading this review and before sampling the Cigale GSM, I had the following two questions:

1. Is this wine indeed a "dead ringer" for a Chateauneuf du Pape?
2. Is the finish long and "beautifully balanced" ?

Cigalegsm2004_1 The Skinny
Cigale Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2004 ($19)

  • Imported by the Australian Wine Connection (no Website); 56% Grenache, 26% Shiraz, 18% Mourvedre; 14.9% alcohol; 800 cases made.
  • Deep indigo in color with a wide, bright pink rim.  The wine nearly defies gravity by clinging to the sides of the glass after swirling.
  • The initial, overwhelming scent is of fresh concord grape juice.  After 15-20 minutes of air time, the wine evolved scents of blackberry jam, dates, hints of Pernod (licorice/anise-flavored liqueur) and notes of black pepper.
  • In the mouth, Cigale is very full-bodied and full of cooked berry flavors.  It possesses soft, round tannins that stay in the background due the intense flavor and alcoholic heft.  The finish is indeed long.  However, I found the wine slightly hot (alcohol overpowers acidity) on the finish - not terribly balanced.
  • I paired Cigale GSM to a roasted Portobello burger with mozzarella and artichoke aioli.  The wine was a bit too hefty for food.  If you enjoy extraordinarily big, intense Aussie reds, this might be a wine for you.  As to my taste, I found it too overbearing - not recommended.  However, I did notice that this wine was far less overbearing on day two.  One suggestion for these types of wines is to decant them and let them breathe for several hours before serving.

To answer my questions:
1. I didn't find this wine to be a dead ringer for C. du Pape.  It does have some similarity to 'modern', youthful C.d.P.s.  However, I didn't detect any meatiness or herbs - which for me is always part of great du Pape.

2. The finish is quite long.  However, I didn't find it to be well-balanced.  It was definitely hot due to the high alcohol-to-acidity ratio.

Other reviews of this wine: Winorama

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference An Australian Chateauneuf?:

» Wine Blogosphere 09/04/06 from Celebrate Wine
Many of us in the states are enjoying a holiday weekend, and that, for wine lovers, means good food, good company, and good wine. So Im starting off this wine blogosphere round up with.... ....Racheal Rays wine pair and this... [Read More]

» Wine Blogosphere 09/04/06 from Celebrate Wine
Many of us in the states are enjoying a holiday weekend, and that, for wine lovers, means good food, good company, and good wine. So Im starting off this wine blogosphere round up with.... ....Racheal Rays wine pair and this... [Read More]

Comments

Scott

Beau, for detailed information on Cigale GSM and other wines available through the Utah DABC see bottleneckwines.com

GW

I don't think I have EVER had an Australian GSW that is a dead ringer for CNDP. Quite different. I think your conclusions were very similar to out Lincoln's all in all - but he rated it on second day tasting. Partly a style thing too.

GW

beau

GW -

I agree. I thought the Wine Spectator reviewer's statement 'dead ringer' was way off - for any Aussie GSM. Not a bad thing, but these wines are completely different.

And I don't think the wine is a bad wine. As you say - it's a style thing. That's the point I'm trying to communicate. Just because a wine garners 90 pts; what does that mean? And is the description around the review even accurate?

GW

Artichoke is a bit of a disaster food with any wine though surely just re-reading.
For me 90 points simply means that within its style and context the reviewer thinks that it as an excellent wine - regardless of personal preferences.
Which leads to another question - Should a wine critic review on whether they like the wine personally or on absolute quality? Depends on your audience to a large extent.

GW

beau

I'm not sure a reviewer can actually get completely around personal preference. However, my biggest beef with the wine was the finish - hot, little perceptible acidity; thus unbalanced. To me, as a reviewer, even if I dislike a wine from a style perspective, I can appreciate it from a quality perspective. This one didn't touch all the quality bases.

In my opinion

And fyi: I tried it alone & with food on the first day. On day 2 I tried it alone again & with food. That's a helluva lot more 'testing' than I can say for the WS tasters who line em up by the dozens.

GW

That IS thorough. Can't say fairer than that.
GW

kikiso

we are the import and export in togo so i we like to do business with your company.pls give me your names of your pordcut.

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