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Domaine La Bouissiere Vacqueyras 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Vacqueyras, Rhone, France
  • RP91
  • ST91
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Winemaker Notes

Easily one of the top wines of the appellation—sultry, saturated and very aromatic. Winemaker Thierry Faravel blends two distinct vineyards on the plateau of Vacqueyras, as this higher perch keeps vines cooler while delivering precise, fresh and savory fruit. A rich blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre. The Mourvèdre dominates the nose, with suggestions of boysenberries, licorice and spice; the mouth drips with plum compote, blackberry jam and vibrates with the energy of a spice bazaar. Wonderfully juicy and plush; the finish lingers for what seems like hours. Balanced and very seductive.

Critical Acclaim

RP 91
The Wine Advocate

While most of La Bouissiere’s holdings are in Gigondas, they also have 6.5 acres in Vacqueyras. A blend of 60% Grenache from 50 year old vines and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre, the dark plum/ruby/garnet-hued 2009 Vacqueyras exhibits the vintage’s sexy, soft tannins, high glycerin, rich fruit and velvety personality. With an evolved nose of cedar, loamy soil, forest floor and red and black fruit notes, this deep, rich, full-bodied, charming effort can be drunk over the next 5-6 years.

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

(58% grenache, 28% mourvedre and 14% syrah): Vivid red. Smoky cherry and black raspberry on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice, lavender and allspice. Sweet, penetrating red fruit flavors show very good depth, with bright acidity providing back-end cut. Finishes with excellent chewy persistence, the red fruit notes repeating strongly.

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Domaine La Bouissiere

Domaine La Bouissiere

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Domaine La Bouissiere, , France - Rhone
Domaine La Bouissiere
Thierry and Gilles Faravel have serious mountaineer credentials in Gigondas. While other altitude-challenged winemakers stick to vineyards at the foot of the towering Dentelles de Montmirail, these brothers are proud to stake a claim further up these dizzying granite slopes.

This is mountain terroir, with cooler weather and demanding soils, a mix of limestone and clay. The family's Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre vines are mostly older (between 30 and 50 years) and are very low yielding. Because of the ideal conditions here, Thierry Faravel explained that they are the last domaine in Gigondas almost every vintage to start the harvest—the combination of exposure and altitude allows grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. What this means for the wine is more elegance and freshness, which is certainly what you'll discover in every one of the Faravels' unique mountain cuvées.

Thierry and Gilles grew up in Gigondas and learned much from their winemaking father, Antonin, who Thierry described as a “weekend winemaker.” While he worked at another domaine, Antonin would tend his family plots only on the weekends when he had free time. For almost two decades the family sold their fruit from these mountain plots, until they decided in 1979 to start bottling wines themselves.

Today, the Faravels are considered one of the leading artisan winemakers in Gigondas, if not in the whole southern Rhône valley. Since the late 80s, the family has been dedicated to organic farming, using organic fertilizers and as little sulfates as possible in their wines. “You have to respect the wine,” says Thierry, and this shows: harvest is always by hand, and wines are never pumped but led from tank to barrel via gravity. Vinification is always as natural as possible, each vintage dictating how the brothers handle each varietal through fermentation and aging. Wines are seldom fined or filtered—to quote Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, these wines are "vibrant" and utterly alive. Domaine la Bouïssiere wines, with their rich complexity and stunning freshness, definitely deserve serious real-estate in any serious cellar—10, 15 years is the norm for these impressive, long-lived cuvées.

North Berkeley Imports

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles...

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

NBI178015_2009 Item# 115470

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