Home > GoodDevelop, Not Rated, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Two Vacqueyras from Domaine la Garrigue

Two Vacqueyras from Domaine la Garrigue

A Vineyard in Vacqueyras, Image by Michael Davis Photo (flickr)

Domaine la Garrigue is located in Vacqueyras.  It was established in 1850 and is still owned by the Bernard family.  The estate is named after the wild herbs that grow in Provence which are known as Garrigue.  This estate is particularly famous for their Cuvee Romaine which is a custom Cotes du Rhone blend of declassified Vacqueyras for Eric Solomon.  After opening a bottle of the 2000 Cuvee Traditionelle I thought it would be fun to open two different bottles from 2004.

William and Aaron at Public, 2005

I bought the Cuvee Traditionelle several years ago from MacArthur’s.  The Cuvee La Cantarele was a monthly selection from the restaurant Public NYC.  Public is owned by my long-time friend William Harris and three other partners.  It is their first restaurant and features an interesting Antipodean wine list.  They were recently awarded a Michelin star for the 2011 New York City Red Guide.

Jenn at Public, 2005

Jenn and I were members of their Wine Mailbox program for the first couple of years.  William would make periodic trips down to visit us, generously lugging all of our wine.  The best wine we ever drank from their program is the 2000 Ata Rangi, Celebre from New Zealand.  Drunk in 2006 or 2007 it was a simply amazing wine.

Back to Vacqueyras.  I highly recommend the 2004 Traditionelle.  On wine-searcher it is available for $30.  That is a good price.  So go buy a few, try one now then resist temptation and cellar the others for a short bit!

2004 Domaine la Garrigue, Cuvee Traditionelle, Vacqueyras
This wine is a blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault.  The vineyards are located on argilo-calcaire soils.  The wine is aged in concrete tanks.  When I first smelled this wine it instantly brought back memories of the Cuvee Romaine.  It has a light to medium nose of gritty fruits and herbs.  In the mouth there are gobs of gritty fruits that forcefully expand onto the tongue.  There is almost prickly, lively acidity combined with inky fruits and a fair amount of medium tannins that coat the entire mouth.  With air the fruit darkens a bit and those lovely, semi-sweet Vacqueyras spices come out.  This wine is vigorously youthful and so enjoyable because of it.  While it is several years from maturity it is lovely now for its robustness.  Decant for several hours.  ***(*) 2015-2022.

2004 Domaine la Garrigue, Cuvee La Cantarele, Vacqueyras
This custom Eric Solomon cuvee is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah from vines that are over 100 years old.  The grapes come from specific parcels throughout the estate.  It is aged for 24 months in tank.  It is a medium+ color of garnet.  One sniff and unfortunately, this bottle is flawed!  On the first night we could somewhat drink around the flaw.  It showed darker, less evolved fruit and herbs instead of sweet spice.  On the second day it was out of whack with a volatile nose and salty flavors.  Bummer, this might have been interesting.  Not Rated.

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