Text Size:-+

The Essence of Wine: Garrigue


Image © 2012 Leigh Beisch

Through crystalline blue skies, the sun all but drips onto your welcoming skin. With eyes closed, you are nudged by a soft breeze, whose caress brings with it a perfume unlike any other. Redolent with sage, thyme, rosemary, lavender, and juniper, the landscape reaches for you with invisible fingers, stimulating, salivating, and ultimately seducing. This is Provence, its scrubby hills laden with weeds that have made possible some of the world's most enduring flavors and aromas. The French have not only given us this precious landscape, they have also given us the word that describes this incredible melange of scents: garrigue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, garrigue features prominently in many wines of southern France, its burst of heady herbs often leaping from a glass of Gigondas or Bandol. But Provence has no monopoly on the aroma, which appears most often in red wines, and sometimes most prominently after a few years in the cellar. Intertwined with aromas of fruit and earth, the savory notes of garrigue can lift a wine from the realm of delicious to the plane of irresistible.

Perrin et Fils Chateau Beaucastel Red Blend, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France
Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux "Cuvee Doucinello," Vacqueyras (Rhone), France
Domaine Joseph Roty "Fontenys" Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France
Domaine de Nizas "Mas Salleles" Vin de Pays, Languedoc, France
Domaine Tempier "La Migoua," Rouge, Bandol, France
Torbreck "The Steading" Rhone Blend, Barossa, South Australia
Yarra Yering "Underhill" Shiraz Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Panther Creek "Freedom Hill Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
Cooper Garrod "R.V.'s Fine Claret" Bordeaux Blend, Santa Cruz Mountains, California, USA

This is part of an ongoing series of original images and prose called The Essence of Wine

Comments (3)

binNotes wrote:
06.27.12 at 7:28 AM

My all-time favorite oenological aroma - great post! Cheers~

AC wrote:
06.27.12 at 3:00 PM

called to mind this phrase...

? Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies ?

Cass wrote:
07.06.12 at 9:54 AM

I'm loving this series! Very fun and informative.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Come Explore The Essence of Wine with Me in Healdsburg: October 30th, 2014 Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014 Another Idiotic California Law Screws Wineries Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco Cool Beauty: Tasting the Wines of the Western Sonoma Coast Vinography Images: Shaggy Companions 2014 Pinot on the River Tasting: October 26, Healdsburg Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 21, 2014

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.