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Domaine le Couroulu Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique 2010

Rhone Red Blends from Vacqueyras, Rhone, France
  • RP94
0% ABV
  • RP89
  • WS90
  • RP90
  • WS88
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3.1 6 Ratings
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3.1 6 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique is a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre. It undergoes a long, 20-day maceration period and is aged in large oak casks for two years before bottling. This big, spicy, robust, somewhat jammy wine represents exceptional value. It is an excellent match for grilled ribs, sausages, and steaks as well as roasts and stews of lamb, beef and game. Robert Parker consistently acclaims the Couroulu Vacqueyras as one of the finest wines of its appellation.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Two spectacular Vacqueyras were also produced in 2010. Both are black as a moonless night with lots of blueberry and blackberry fruit. The 2010 Vacqueyras Cuvee Classique, a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre aged in cement tanks, is more evolved with good acidity, terrific focus and unbelievable concentration for a wine that sells for under 10 euros at the domaine.

92-94 pts

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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.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

AIWCOURCUVCL_2010 Item# 127466

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