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Vinformation – New Vacqueyras Producer & Latest Offer Wines

There’s plenty to talk about vino wise this week. For all you bargain hunters there are some super wines on offer over the coming weeks and a selection are featured below. However first I would like to introduce you to a new Rhône producer I am working with and who happens to be one of the finest Domaines in Vacqueyras.

Domaine la Monardière
Vacqueyras is a cru of the Southern Rhône that is positioned about 10 miles north east of unarguably the region’s most famous, Châteauneuf du Pape. It has had its own AOC appellation since 1990 and the majority of the wine produced comes from co-operatives who make reliable red wine with a spicy dark fruit character. There are however a growing number of Domaines making outstanding wines which are exceptional value when compared to Vacqueyras’ illustrious neighbour, Gigondas and one of these is Domaine la Monardière.
The Domaine was founded in 1987 when Martine and Christian Vache combined their family vineyards. Although the estate may be relatively new, the vines here are not, with some parcels of Grenache noir dating back to 1945. The Vaches were joined by son Damien in 2007 which was the same year they converted to organic production, gaining certification in 2010. They are one of the only 45 producers out of 122 in Vacqueyras to Domaine bottle and their approach is minimum intervention. The wines of course are wonderful and here they are –

2018 Vacqueyras ‘Les 2 Monardes’, Domaine Monardière, Rhône (Organic) @ £18.25 a bottle
55% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Cinsault from sandy soils. Matured for 18 months, half in tank and half in old 600L oak barrels.
A superb introduction to the Domaine. Deep dark fruits on the nose with expressive intensity. Ripe but elegant on the palate with chewy but well integrated tannins. Beautifully balanced with fresh acidity and a long finish. Drink now or hold for a couple of years at least.

2017 Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Monardière, Rhône (Organic) @ £24.50 a bottle
Now I know £24 isn’t cheap for a bottle of wine but this really is worth every penny. There are very few places in the world that can offer wine of this quality at this price and I strongly recommend you squirrel away a few bottles of this whilst you can. The ‘Vieille Vignes’ in question are the 55-75 year old Grenache noir bush vines that the estate own. These make up 70% of the blend with 20% Mourvèdre and 10% Carignan providing the remainder. A youthful nose with vibrant raspberry and red cherry. Layers of fruit on the palate with great texture and intensity. The finish lasts for almost a minute. Although this wine still needs time to be at its best, trying a bottle now will not disappoint – however it does need plenty of air. When I tasted the wine last Sunday it was at its finest about four hours after decanting. Lovely stuff.

Offer Wines
Here’s a selection of some superb wines on offer over the coming weeks –
2018 Bourgogne Blanc ‘Illuminé’, Genetie-Mâconnais, Burgundy RRP £15.50 Offer Price £11.75
Delicious and exceptional value (especially at this price) white Burgundy made from 40 year old vines grown in the Mâconnais. Grapes are fermented in stainless steel and then 10% of the wine is aged in barrel to add a subtle richness. Ripe and very approachable with aromas of citrus and stone fruit. The palate has a soft creaminess backed up beautifully with zesty citrus freshness and superb minerality. The finish is long and fine.

2018 Chardonnay, Domaine Grande Courtade, IGP Pays d’Oc (Organic) List Price £12.75 Offer Price £10.95
Delicious Organic Chardonnay produced in a Burgundian way. Limestone soils maintain moisture which helps give the wine its freshness. Aged in French oak barriques this has subtle flavours of ripe stone fruit, citrus and a hint of butterscotch. Superb value and a must for Chardonnay lovers.

2018 Novas Gran Reserva Carmenère, Colchagua Valley, Chile (Organic) List £10.75 Offer Price £8.75
This wine is exceptional value at full price so at sub £9 it’s practically a giveaway. It’s predominantly Carmenère with a small shot of Cabernet Sauvignon. Black cherry red in colour with intense fruity notes of blackcurrant and strawberries that give way to a light touch of black pepper, tobacco leaf and chocolate. The palate is more medium bodied so not overpowering and has very smooth, lush tannins. Its great balance and fresh finish make it incredibly easy to drink.

2019 ‘Illuminé’ Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Genetie, Burgundy List Price £16 Offer Price £13.95
This taster of the brilliant 2019 Burgundy vintage is already gorgeous. Aromas of wild strawberry with touches of other red berries. Nicely rounded on the palate with fresh acidity balancing the ripeness of fruit. Easy soft tannins make this incredibly pleasant to drink in its youth. Excellent value for Pinot Noir and especially for Burgundy.

A full list of offer wines can be found here on the website.

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