Posted on 15th March 2017 by JN Wine
If you love the full, bold flavours of Chateauneuf du Pape but consider it beyond your budget for the average wet weekend, then meet our new arrival, Gadagne (pronounced Gad-an-ye). The similarities abound: region? Southern Rhone, Grape varieties? Mainly Grenache with Syrah and Mourvedre, Terroir? Large pebbles known as “galets”.
So how come one basks in international fame and notoriety while the other remains a village in the Southern Rhone with an old castle and some vineyards? Gadagne joined the Cotes du Rhone appellation in 1937, and was elevated to Villages status in 1997.
Next step for the ambitious growers was “cru” status but, understandably the growers of Chateauneuf du Pape were vehemently opposed to the young upstart’s request to use their village name – Chateauneuf de Gadagne! And so the tussle began. With the Gadagne gang arguing that their Chateau dated from 1094. Whereas Chateauneuf du Pape’s chateau was from the 14th Century!! For ten years the galets were hurled back and forth until the Gadagne guys conceded that it was a bit of an uphill battle against the status of their neighbour. So not wanting to lose their elevation to named village status they conceded to the name Gadagne.
There are only 7 producers in the area – one of which is Demazet whose Reserve des Armoiries Cotes du Rhone is a firm favourite with JN customers. Chateau Quilex covers 11 hectares within the Gadagne appellation and is made from 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. The 2013 has a meaty, spicy nose with a soft, open full bodied palate, mingling flavours of spice and garrigue with liquorice and ripe fruit. Enjoy it with roast beef and Provencal style stews.
“The 2012 Quilex is not complex, but its voluminous, sweet and soft southern fruits, robed in a little chocolate, were showing exceptionally attractively when I tasted this wine last year; there’s liquorice to finish, too. 88 Points.” (Andrew Jefford – speaking on the 2012 vintage, Decanter Magazine, Feb 2017)