Domaine le Couroulu Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique 2008
Rhone Red Blends from Vacqueyras, Rhone, France
The growing season stared off well, but the summer was cooler and more rainy than usual. Though the water was greatly needed, it did slow down ripening. Fortunately, the weather improved as harvest approached: in September and early October, warm and dry days, cool nights, and – very importantly – a good Mistral wind which blocked the onset of rot, made for an excellent harvest. We did a severe selection of grapes on the vine and blended the fruit from our Vieilles Vignes vineyard on the plateau with the fruit we kept for the Classique.Our 2008 has an expressive nose of Provencal herbs and garrigue, and substantial, crunchy, fresh black fruit with notes of licorice and blackberry. The finish is long and succulent, making the 2008 Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique perfect for current enjoyment.
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid ruby. Bright, expressive aromas of cherry, black raspberry, smoke and dried flowers. Offers sweet fruit and good depth, with flavors of kirsch and dark berries. Conveys a fresh impression and finishes with good floral kick. Supple tannins add support to this wine but don't detract from its up-front fruit. This is drinking well now."
Wine Spectator - "A touch taut in feel, but delivering a good core of damson plum, cherry pit and plum skin notes, with a note of lightly roasted mesquite. Drink now through 2013."
Domaine le Couroulu Winery
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About Vacqueyras(vah-keh-rahs) Once just a Cotes-du-Rhone village, the wine of Vacqueyras made its mark and in 1990, gaining its own appellation. The wine is somewhat similar to its northern neighbor, Gigondas, and occasionally even more rustic. Vacqueyras wine gives off the flavors of the earth where the vines grow - wild herbs, spice and rocky soil.
Notable FactsLike other Southern Rhone wine, Grenache is the main player here, and a minimum of 50% of the varietal is required, allowing the blend more room for varietals like Syrah and Mourvedre. Often found for good value prices, these wines are perfect for hearty meat stews and herb-based dishes.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.