Glorious Gigondas (2012) from Domaine du Cayron!

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The Saint-Cosme chapel, Gigondas - Gigondas, Provence-Alpes-Cote-dAzur

The 2012 Gigondas from Domaine du Cayron has just been released and because it is in very short supply, we have decided to introduce it now in order to make sure we are able to fill our members’ requirements.  The winery is owned by the Faraud family and they make their wine the old fashioned way. It is very, very good. This is a top Gigondas from a very good year. Be sure to add some to your collection.


As Robert Parker notes in his excellent book ‘Wines of the Rhône Valley’, Gigondas remains one of the wine world’s great bargains. Gigondas is never a shy or subtle wine. Its appeal is its robust, frank, generous, extroverted character, in addition to its value. It is to be savoured and admired because of these virtues. Great wines from Gigondas will rival those of its neighbor Châteauneuf du Pape and the wines produced under the skillful hands of the Faraud family often do just that.”

The 2012 Vintage in the Southern Rhône

In the November 30, 2014 edition of the Wine Spectator, James Molesworth says this about the 2012 vintage in the Southern Rhône, “The 2012 reds from France’s Rhône Valley offer very ripe fruit profiles that are also elegant and fresh, with excellent length thanks to fine-grained and racy tannins that will help the wines cellar nicely. In a vintage that saw either inconsistent or lackluster results from several of France’s other prominent wine-growing regions, the Rhône Valley bucked the trend. Outside of Châteauneuf du Pape (which he highly regards), the Southern Rhône logged a very consistent performance in 2012. Gigondas also offers wines of classic and outstanding quality, with serious aging potential.”

Here is how the ‘Wine Spectator’ rates the recent vintages in the Southern Rhône:


Domaine du Cayron

Cendrine, Roseline et Hélène
(that ancient press is still in service!)
Considered by many to be the benchmark producer in the appellation, (Robert Parker includes it as one of only three ‘Outstanding’ producers of the region) Cayron crafts a Gigondas of phenomenal richness and incredible longevity. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more terroir-expressive wine anywhere in the Southern Rhone. Furthermore, Cayron is among the most age-worthy of Gigondas, delicious upon release, but improving for well over a decade and holding strong for a long time thereafter. This 16-hectare domaine is a classic and truly top-flight estate.

Established in 1840, Domaine du Cayron is situated at the entrance of the picturesque village of Gigondas. The property (including a very special plot of seventy-five year old gnarled Grenache) has been owned and managed by the Faraud family for the past five generations. Michel Faraud recently turned over the operation of his winery to his three daughters, Delphine, Cendrine and Roseline. They spend a great deal of time in the vineyard, restricting yields and always hand harvesting the grapes at their maximum ripeness. The grapes are hand pressed in an ancient wood press and the wine then rests in old wood tanks for up to a year before it is bottled. The Farauds don’t fine or filter their Gigondas and the massive amount of ripe black fruit flavors found in their wine is always tempered by a profoundly complex expression of the terroir. It is important to note that each vintage is truly unique. The wine is being made the way the Farauds want it made. Their Gigondas is not manipulated to appeal to the prejudices of wine importers or writers. They don’t have to – each vintage is practically spoken for before the bottling begins.

The Wine

The standard bottles are available in six-bottle cases, while the magnums (1500 ml) come in three-bottle cases and the jéroboam (double magnum; 3000 ml) one to the case. We plan to take your orders to the LCBO on Friday, December 19th. Don’t miss out on this one!

2012 Domaine du Cayron Gigondas – 14.0% Alc./Vol.

This classic Gigondas was crafted from70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 14% Syrah and a dollop of Mourvèdre. The yield was thirty-two hectoliters per hectare and came from vines averaging more than forty years of age. The grapes were hand harvested and were not destemmed. The cap was punched down daily during the alcoholic fermentation and the wine was neither fined nor filtered. The finished wine rested in old oak tanks for between six and twelve months.

We tried it from the barrel in September and loved it. This is every bit as good as a fine Châteauneuf du Pape. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. It is drinking surprisingly well now, but will get even better over the next decade. Great stuff!

Cendrine getting a sample for us from an old vat
The fine 2012 is an intense, ruby colour and offers up full, complex aromas of highly perfumed raspberries, cherries, black currants, underbrush, pepper, and hints of allspice and lavender. In the mouth it is opulent - silky and elegant, very well-balanced and full with notes of white pepper and minerals on the lingering finish. It will go wonderfully with magret de canard, boeuf bourguignon, roasts, game and most cheese.

Here’s what Jeb Dunnick of ‘The Wine Advocate’ has to say about the 2012 Domaine de Cayron Gigondas, “Looking just as good (as the 2011), the 2012 Gigondas offers loads of leafy herbs, licorice, underbrush, spring flowers and blackcurrant-styled aromas and flavors in its medium to full-bodied, balanced personality. Nicely texture(d)with solid freshness and purity, it will have 10-12 years of longevity.  

One of my favorite estates in Gigondas, Domaine du Cayron is run by the three Faraud sisters, Cendrine, Roseline and Delphine. The estate covers roughly 40 acres, spread throughout the appellation, and they produce a single Gigondas that’s a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 14% Syrah and a splash of Mourvedre. The style here is staunchly traditional, and their wines always show the gamier, wilder side of Gigondas. Score 91-93 Points

And, Stephen Tanzer enthuses, “Bright ruby. Raspberry, lavender and passion fruit on the exotic, highly aromatic nose. Spicy, sappy and concentrated, offering intense red fruit liqueur, apricot and floral pastille flavors that expand with air. There's a delicacy here that's surprising given the wine's power. Singular and wild in the best sense, with gentle tannins and superb finishing clarity, thrust and length. Score 94.”

Some say it is ready to drink now, but I think that would be like committing infanticide! I’d cellar it for at least a couple of years before happily approaching it. Order your classic Gigondas now. 

1-bottle jéroboam * – most impressive!

* silkscreen collector’s edition magnum and jéroboam

Important Note
The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

LCBO Delivery Notices!

The LCBO has started to mail out delivery notices to all our Members who order wine. This notice is being sent when the wine has arrived from overseas and has been cleared for delivery by the LCBO. The form letter is two sided, one with the numeric details of the transaction and the other with pick-up instructions. Please note - the pick-up instructions do not apply to our Members.


First, they instruct our Member to pick up the wine at the LCBO’s warehouse loading docks at 33 Freeland Street in Toronto. Our Members don’t have to do this – we either cause the wine to be sent to an LCBO retail store that is conveniently located near our Member or we personally deliver the wine.

Second, they infer that our Members owe them for the wine and warn that they will be penalized if the wine is not picked up within a prescribed period of time. Our Members have already paid for their wine and don’t owe any additional money. We look after payment for them.

Please disregard these form letters when you receive them.

We have requested that the LCBO either correct the message or not send it at all. We also asked that they send the message electronically (they have the e-mail addresses of everyone who orders) to save money and be environmentally responsible. They have thanked us for our suggestions and we hope they will act on them.

Why is the LCBO sending out these notices?

When we inquired, we were told that this has always been their procedure; they just haven’t been following it.

We can surmise that it is in response to last year’s ruling by the Information and Privacy Commission of Ontario (IPC) ruling that the LCBO stop taking personal information from wine club customers. In a subsequent Ontario Superior Court of Justice appeal hearing, the case was remitted back to the IPC for reconsideration, i.e., the LCBO and the other involved parties were told to work out their issues between themselves. A key point in the ruling was, “it is not clear whether the IPC actually made a clear or consistent finding on the issue of whether the LCBO's customer is the club or the club member.” Since then, the LCBO has been determined to make certain that we are all fully aware that it is they who control the customer relationship when it comes to the purchase of beverage alcohol in the Province of Ontario.

To reinforce this point, they have instructed us to prominently post the following wherever we display our prices:

The LCBO is the only entity authorized to sell beverage alcohol in Ontario. Arthur Sellers & Company and Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club do not sell or markup beverage alcohol, but rather, arrange for customers to purchase it from the LCBO. Our prices indicated above and on our website include the LCBO sale price plus a fee to cover the cost of sourcing, handling and marketing the wine. The LCBO’s sale prices are available on request.

If you have any comments for the LCBO, please address them to Margaret Plant, Supervisor, Private Ordering ( and copy Archie Karanxha, Acting Manager, Specialty Services ( and Geoff Allaire, General Manager Operations, Toronto Retail Service Centre, Vintages Warehouse (

All this reminds me of a very old joke. It seems that a little devil was involved in a most unfortunate tangle with one of Toronto’s Red Rockets that resulted in his tail being severed. He was rushed to the Toronto General Hospital but was refused admission. The ER receptionist explained, “I am afraid you will have to take him to the LCBO ... they are the only ones in Ontario allowed to retail spirits.”

Kate joins the team!
We are delighted to announce that our eldest daughter Kate (shown here with a bottle of Penfolds Grange from her birth year!) has officially joined the Arthur Sellers & Company team. She is an avid wine enthusiast with a very fine palate and is renowned for her frequent thirsty assaults on Arthur’s Cellar. Kate will be assisting us with the day-to-day operation of our wine club and will introduce our fine wines to her market demographic (recognizing that this old tippler needs a little help marketing to the younger aficionados of the fruit of the vine). Please join us in welcoming Kate to our wonderful world of wine.

Hélène's 2014 Tour to Provence is Sold Out; But ...
She is taking reservations for September 2015. Long our favourite part of France, Provence is filled with so many wonderful things – marvellous markets, gorgeous perched villages, exquisite Mediterranean cuisine as well as the Mediterranean itself, a bevy of awe-inspiring Roman ruins, medieval towns, olive oil mills, Southern Rhône vineyards, sophisticated cities with great shopping, and constantly changing, spectacular scenery. And, you get to spend it all comfortably ensconced in your very own castle for a week, the enchanting Château du Goult. Maybe even get a group of friends to join you. That way, Hélène can massage her itinerary to meet your special interests.

Please contact Hélène for all the delectable details.

Where’s My Wine??
Generally, it will take three to four months from the time you order your wine till it is delivered. To find out where your next treasure is on its long journey from Europe, just click on Delivery Status in the side bar to the left. We update it regularly.

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