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Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras 2006

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

A blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault.

Critical Acclaim

RP 91
The Wine Advocate

The 2006 Vacqueyras (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre) is also a special bottling for Eric Solomon. A ruby/purple color is accompanied by a sweet bouquet of black cherries, licorice, roasted Provencal herbs, and garrigue. Deep, full-bodied, and intense with beautiful purity, a layered mouthfeel, and a heady finish, it should drink nicely for at least a decade.

Readers should note that these cuvees are selected by the American importer, Eric Solomon, and are bottled earlier than those sold elsewhere in the world. Owned by the Bernard family, this is one of the largest (nearly 145 acres) and finest estates in Vacqueyras, so it is not surprising that both the 2006 and 2007 vintages performed well.

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Domaine La Garrigue

Domaine La Garrigue

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Domaine La Garrigue, , France - Rhone
Domaine La Garrigue
Domaine de la Garrigue is one of the oldest estates in the southern Rhone Valley region and is owned by the Bernard family. The family owns one of the most famous restaurants and inns in the area called "Les Florets" which is located on the hillside facing the Dentelles in Gigondas. Fashioning some of the most beautiful bottlings of Vacqueyras, Eric Solomon worked with the property to create a custom cuvee of Cotes du Rhone from de-classified Vacqueyras called "Cuvee Romaine."

The climate in the Southern Rhone is extremely warm in the summer, with consistent temperatures in the 90's during July and August. This makes rich, full-bodied, and spicy wines. The soil is similar to that of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, with massive rocks called "galets" dotting the vineyards. The old bush vines of Garrigue are planted on these "galets" and for most of the vineyards, there is not soil present to the eye, just rock.

This property focuses on making wines with minimal manipulation to let the terroir speak through the wines. The old vines of Domaine de la Garrigue were planted in the late 1940's, just after the Germans left the area following the second World War. Before the war, the area was planted primarily to other crops, including sunflowers and tomatoes. However, the Romans were making wine here centuries ago and shipping it hundreds of miles away. Hence, the cuvee name "Cuvee Romaine".

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism...

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from...

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

RGL2062271_2006 Item# 98190

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