Domaine du Grand Montmirail, Vacqueyras, Rhone Valley, France

The Wine of the Week
by Annette Tomei

\2010 Domaine du Grand Montmirail, Vacqueyras AC, Rhône Valley, France

Long part of the broader designation of Cotes du Rhone Villages, the Vacqueyras earned its own AC designation in 1990. The wines of Vacqueyras tend to be a bit more rugged than more prestigious neighbors such as Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape; they also tend to be a bit more affordable and great quality options are increasingly available. The primary grapes of this region are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.

The 2010 vintage of the Domaine du Grand Montmirail Vacqueyras is a blend of 65% Grenache and 35% Syrah. The fruit for is harvested only at its peak ripeness – this attention to detail means harvest can take as much as four weeks to complete. Only 5000 cases were produced.

The vigneron’s attention to detail is expressed beautifully in this wine. Deep inky color saturates to the rim. Aromas are of violets, cassis, black pepper and a hint of meatiness (characteristic of Rhone Syrah). The first sip is a rush of dark berry fruit and dense rich tannins with a cleansing burst of acidity; from there, peppery savory aromatics take hold – irresistible. Though quite enjoyable on its own, it seems to beg to be paired with a hearty Provençal-style lamb stew, or autumn vegetables roasted with herbs de Provence served with chewy hearty grains.

 

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