A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Gigondas & Vacqueyras

February 8th, 2013

Gigondas and Vacqueyras are two AOC wine regions in the Southern Rhone region of France. Although these wines are not the most famous from that region, they are some of my favorites. These wines feature the Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre grapes; with Grenache being the predominant grape. A typical Gigondas would have 80% Greneache, 15% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre.

I love these wines because they are robust, well-balanced and reasonably priced ($20-30). The Syrah gives the wine excellent structure, while the Grenache softens the wine with bright fruit. The result is a medium to full bodied wine that can age reasonably well, but can be enjoyed early. One standout from Gigondas is Chateau de Saint Cosme. Although they make several single vineyard wines which are more expensive, their standard Grenache is about $30.  You can read more about the winery here.

Vacqueyras is located just south of Gigondas, and it received AOC status in 1990. Vacqueyras would normally have more Syrah than Gigondas. One wine from Vacqueyras that I enjoy is Domaine Le Couroulu.

Bottle of Domaine Le Couroulu

Domaine Le Couroulu is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre, and costs about $20. This estate was named after the Curlew bird; which is depicted on their wine label. Although their label is quite playful, the wine making is quite serious. This wine is spicy, bold, and very well made. It’s a great value; and I’d certainly recommend it with any hearty dish.

 

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