BB Review: La Fourmone Le Secret Gigondas 2015
Do you like wine blends? Contrary to what Kate used to think, a wine blend isn't the special juice made at college parties where everyone would dump the wine they brought into a giant bowl and then carefully ladle it into red SOLO cups like it was the absolute height of sophistication. This is wine, you'd say to a guy named Tyler who was definitely stoned and 100% not paying any attention to you. Isn't it fun to drink wine and be a very adulty adult? You'd ask, but Tyler would be gone.
No no no, Kate, that is not what a blend is. Quite simply, a blend is a wine that's been made using more than one type of grape, and for this round we're putting the wine mixology skills of three producers to the test. Have they made the perfect blend? Let's find out! 👩🏻🔬🍷
BOTTLE: La Fourmone Le Secret Gigondas 2015 – Rhône, France
Does this wine sound familiar? That's because we reviewed a wine by this producer in December! (Or maybe you've had this wine before. Who knows? Not us!)
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £23.90 from Fromage & French
ABV & TECH SPECS: 14% ABV
LET'S GET NERDY: This is a blend of the classic GSM style – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre – which you're most likely to find in its homeland, the Rhône Valley, though you’ll see its style imitated all over the world, particularly in Spain, Australia and California.
The beauty of these 3 grapes is that they each bring something different to the table whilst complementing each other in style and, depending on the proportion of each varietal used, bring out unique characteristics to each blend.
Blended wines can often give winemakers freedom for more expression, as well as enable them to adjust and adapt wines if certain varietals have not had a particularly good vintage. Think of it like cooking: add a little more of a spicy varietal here, a varietal with a bit more body there, so you end up with something more than the sum of its parts (and hopefully delicious).
DINE ON THIS: This wine is called Le Secret (not to be confused with that book The Secret that everyone was very into reading and going on and on about in the early 2000s) and Fourmone note that the name Le Secret means "provient d’un milieu escarpé où la marne est rose et où la vigne s’imprègne d’effluves de genêts et de pins. Un endroit privilégié où les oliviers abritent des bouquets de thyms et de romarins. Un lieu où il fait bon vivre et qui porte en lui les saveurs de la Provence. Ce Secret c’est le nôtre, la quintessence de nos Gigondas, le précieux mystère qui attise nos papilles. Sa rareté est la clef de son succès.”
In English, this basically means that this bottle holds all the delicious secrets of Provence and you should totally drink it.
WHY CARO BROUGHT THIS BLEND TO THE TABLE: Truth is, I bought this as a treat for our BB retreat, back in January. But, having had to cut our stay short and being very hungover after drinking all the other bottles we had brought in just one night, we thought it would be a shame to drink this when merry/drunk/hungover. So it was pretty flippin’ lucky to realise this wine was actually nailing my assignment of getting a GSM blend - BOOM! Thanks SKates for making me check!
CARO: Wow. This wine has got the personality of a platter of great tapas! It smells savoury (blue cheese, smoked almonds, parma ham), and leaves a fiery trail down your throat (chillies?). The savouriness opens up the more you drink it, unveiling more layers of flavours as it dances around your palate.
I bagged the rest of the bottle and gave it another go a couple of days later, and I’m glad I did. Cherry wood & blossoms with liquorish - I now feel like I understand this charming and mysterious red/black wine a lot more, and the reason behind its name, The Secret. (Disclaimer: it totally passed The Ross Test)
ANGELA: I love the deep garnet colour of this wine, the hue looks so warming. Juicy aromatics of blueberry, blackberry and smoke. The palate is powerful and punchy but smooth, the aromatics follow through with juicy dark fruits, cooked prunes and a hint of black pepper. I feel this wine is brooding in the glass and might take me to different places throughout an evening of sipping.
KATE: This wine smells exactly like a family's house that I used to babysit for. Butter noodles, a blueberry Pop-Tart (its sticky crumbs all over the leather couch) warm blankets, and something spicy wafting in from the kitchen (unlike the house I used to babysit in, it sadly does not pay me an hourly wage to watch MTV). When you go in for a taste, you discover that this wine has a lot of complexity and just as a perfect sandwich combines an a+ balance of flavours and textures, so too does this wine. It's spicy and layered like just about every woman I've ever had a crush on and it leaves your mouth full of dark and juicy warming flavour.
When Olivia Pope comes home after a long day on the job to drink a big glass of red wine in her pristine apartment, she's probably drinking this wine.
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? This is a wine to cuddle up to and savour. We'd like a huge bottle (let's say a Balthazar) that we can sip all night long as this bottle spills all its secrets.