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Domaine le Couroulu Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Vacqueyras, Rhone, France
  • RP90
  • WS90
14% ABV
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3.0 1 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deeply saturated, black purple color and super ripe, back fruit with notes of dark cherry, licorice and spices. The texture is dense yet it has a remarkable freshness on the finish, because Guy Ricard was vigilant about not allowing the grapes to reach sur-maturite.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The most forward and drinkable of these offerings is the 2009 Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique, which is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre primarily aged in cement tanks. This gorgeous effort reveals abundant notes of tapenade, black cherries, soy, new saddle leather, blackberries and earth. This seductive, round, generous, pure, velvety-textured 2009 should drink well for 7-8 years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Ripe and fleshy, delivering a lovely velvety feel to the crushed plum, braised fig and steeped red and black currant fruit notes, all backed by roasted mesquite and tobacco flavors. This is broad, but well-defined, too. Rock-solid. Drink now through 2015. 700 cases imported.
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Domaine le Couroulu

Domaine le Couroulu

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Domaine le Couroulu, , France - Rhone
Domaine le Couroulu
Located in between Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape, the village of Vacqueyras was finally granted its own AC in 1990 after vociferous lobbying. Domaine Le Couroulu, founded in 1928 and still owned by the Ricard family, is known for producing some of the most full-bodied Vacqueyras and other wines from their 20 hectares of old Grenache and Syrah vines.

The estate is named for the Curlew bird, which is known in Provencal dialect as Couroulu: this bird is the signature emblem on the Domaine’s labels. Winemaker Guy Ricard, who represents the third generation, is one of the Rhone’s most passionate and pleasant personalities, qualities which are reflected in his generous and engaging wines.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

AIWCOURVAC_2009 Item# 113562

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