Monday, March 28, 2011

Domaine du Cayron Gigondas, 1981

Because of its rare combination of beauty and power, Gigondas is usually drunk at a fairly young age--around 8 to 10 years after the vintage--before the power starts to recede. Cayron, my favorite Gigondas, is a notable exception, with a capacity to improve with several decades of aging. While 30 years may be extreme, this bottle is still giving plenty of pleasure. The color is a deep crimson, dark with only a bit of amber around the rim. The bouquet is expressive of all the qualities I love in Gigondas--a lilting floral quality along with berries and spice. On the palate, there is a rich strawberry compote flavor, similar to that of an aged Chateauneuf du Pape, but the high-toned floral quality is what makes it distinctively Gigondas. It's smooth and medium bodied, and the flavors reverberate into a ripe finish, but there is a slight dryness around the edges of both the aromas and flavors that signifies that this wine is nearing the end of the line. It's different and probably not as good as the last bottle I had several years ago, but I still regret that it's my last go at 1981 Cayron. About $8 to $10 a bottle, when I bought this wine, Cayron now sells in the United States for about $30. The last time I visited France, in 2006, I bought the current vintage of Cayron for about $12.

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