I❤️ words with a 'Q' or a 'Y'. So here you have it: "VacQueYras". Pronounced with a 'S' … and as a bonus …world famous among the wine nerds 🤓.
My expectations were high. I do like the trend these days for "cool climate" wines but life would be boring without the power and boldness of a good "warm climate" bottle. It's all about appreciating the differences, u know…😏
Still on our way to the Provence we booked a lovely B&B in a renovated century old house. In the evening we discovered Vacqueyras "downtown". And well that's easy. There's 1 grocery, 1 bakery, 1 pharmacy and 1 restaurant, and bunch of sycamore trees. I never expected it to be that 'petite'.
The day after I got up at 6, left my wife alone in bed 🙈, put on my running shoes and did what I had planned to do. Running through the vineyards of Vacqueyras to the next wine village Beaumes-de-Venise and back. I won't slightly forget the view of looking down the mountains (with the dogtooth skyline of the Montmirail in my back) into the wide Rhône valley. #CreatingStrongMemories in action. Check out my Instagram post of 18 July to find out more😉
Of course you don't stay the night in Vacqueyras without a good wine tasting. We choose for the Caveau du Vacqueyras located underneath those sycamore trees we had dinner the night before. It is a shop where you can taste 70 references from 27 domaines and buy at the domaine prices. The ideal place for cross-sectioning what this AOC has to offer🥳. We started with some whites and rosés which were all first timers to me. Well made, but all of them lacked some length to be exceptional.
Everyone knows Vacqueyras is all about red🍷. You can discover a wide variety of styles. Most of them share the typical GSM blend and are not that wood driven. The difference in terroir (alluvial grounds, parts with those famous 'galets roulés' and steepy hills) is clear in some wines. Wine growers who choose for a lower yields tough, clearly deliver the best quality in the glass. At least that is was I discovered but maybe you would think differently.
My personal favorite💘 was a Syrah driven Domaine Font Sarade. A highly concentrated wine of which only 2000 bottles are made an an élevage on barrique of at least 1 year.
And definitely the Grenat Noble of Clos des Cazaux💘💘. This grenache driven baby contains 30% of Pourriture Noble (WTF!). These guys are that lucky😇 to have some vineyards in a microclimate where this delicate rottening process is sometimes possible. Combine this with a yield of just 20 ha/l and 36 months of aging in concrete/wood and you can imagine this IS a nice mixture of power and finesse.
Nice to have met you, my dear Vacqueyras🙏🏻.
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