Under their negociant line of wines (called Alain Jaume), the 2010 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is a classic Vacqueyras with lots of dense, concentrated, black cherry and plum fruit intermixed with hints of garrigue and licorice, a full-bodied mouthfeel. Under their negociant line of wines (called Alain Jaume), the 2010 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is a classic Vacqueyras with lots of dense, concentrated, black cherry and plum fruit intermixed with hints of garrigue and licorice, a full-bodied mouthfeel.
When I chatted with winemaker Christophe Jaume at the winery’s introductory tasting earlier this year, he could scarcely contain his enthusiasm for the 2011 vintage in general, and this 2011 Ventoux in particular. His explained that Les Gelinottes vineyard’s ideal exposure was a unique bonus, due to the extra sun received in late August early September. The additional solar energy pumped up the already ripe, juicy fruit, and helped build a fine structure of soft tannins. Made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah planted on clay and sandy soils, this wine offer notes of crushed blackberry, baked blueberry and garrigue, with hints of toast and earth rising at the finish. This fresh, medium-bodied Rhone should be enjoyed now, and over the next 18 months.
This intense, full-bodied red is made by the brilliant Châteauneuf du Pape producer Andre Brunel, from family owned vineyards in the village of Tavaillan. The 2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine, which is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre, has just what it takes to stand up to the rigors of summer BBQ fare. It is loaded with meaty notes of blueberry, blackberry and smoke/tobacco leaf, interlaced with hints of cherry confit, a telltale component of ripe Grenache. With so much forward fruit, it can also be enjoyed lightly chilled on the deck or patio.
Arnoux Père's "White Label" Vacqueyras "Seigneur de Lauris," a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, sees new oak, and offers excellent structure and aging potential.
No matter how grand or small, every wine cellar needs a few outright crowd-pleasers. This is the one to bring out when mixed company arrives (aficionados and non-aficionados), because I have yet to find anybody who does not enjoy it, myself included.