Situated North East of the more famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and neighbours to Gigondas, Vacqueyras was granted Appellation status in 1990. Prior to that it was one of the many villages that made up the Cotes-du-Rhone-Villages AOC.
The region of the Southern Rhone is markedly different from their northerly neighbours (St Joseph, Hermitage, Cote Rotie etc.). Soil type and geography is a large part but grape varieties are notably different. Here, Grenache rules the roost with Syrah often making up no more than 30% of the blend. When comparing this to, say, St Joseph which is 100% Syrah, the composition of the wine is very different indeed. Grenache is a more rustic & powerful variety, so far as to say, it often brings high alcohol, sweet tannins and rich fruit to a wine. Compared with the spice, finesse and elegance of Syrah.
Here, the Arnoux family have produced a superb example of how great Grenache can be. Alongside supporting roles from 7 other Rhone varietals. From the better known Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault to the lesser, more obscure, Vacarese, Terret Noir, Muscardin & Cournoise. Hand selected from old vines of 50+ years old, the wine has beautiful finesse and elegance. One third of the wine is aged in second-use French oak (previously used for their flagship cuvee ‘1717′) for 18 months.
The wine is wonderfully elegant and expressive. Smooth and rich with an abundance of black forest fruits, liquorice, herbs and a meaty spice. Super silky ripe tannins, full body and lingering finish. This is top-drawer Southern Rhone red at it’s finest.
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