2010 Domaine la Garrigue Vacqueyras

Year: 2010
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 89
Rhone Report: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
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"The 2010 Vacqueyras Traditionelle (15% natural alcohol) is a blend of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and the rest equal parts Cinsault and Mourvedre aged in tank and wood foudres. It offers sexy, open-knit notes of kirsch, black currants, loamy soil, pepper and garrigue. This opaque ruby/purple-hued, seductive, luscious, full-bodied Vacqueyras should drink nicely for a decade.

One of the most respected estates in Vacqueyras, Domaine La Garrigue owns over 150 acres (the Bernard family actually owns nearly 200 acres throughout the southern Rhone) from which they produce traditional Vacqueyras. The American importer, Eric Solomon, persuaded proprietor Maxime Bernard to bottle his cuvees meant for the USA market slightly earlier than normal as well as without filtration. Domaine La Garrigue has about 10 acres in Gigondas from which they produce 300+ cases from 60-year-old vines planted in chalky clay and stony soils. The blend tends to be about 75% Grenache and the rest mostly Syrah with a touch of Cinsault, and everything is aged in concrete vats." (WA)

"($23) (80% grenache, 10% syrah, 5% mourvedre and 5% cinsault): Bright purple. Intense, floral-accented aromas of raspberry and cherry, with a peppery topnote. Juicy and precise, offering good depth to its red fruit and spicecake flavors. Closes on a spicy note, with good energy and a touch of smoked meat." (IWC)

"Beautiful stuff and a classic Vacqueyras that’s a non-destemmed, concrete aged blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and small amounts of Mourvedre and Cinsault, the 2010 Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras offers up lovely blackberry and assorted red fruits, green herbs, licorice, and loads of exotic flower like qualities. This medium to full-bodied, balanced, and elegant 2010 has building richness and a lively, energetic feel on the palate. It is delicious now, but will be even better in another year or two, and have upwards of a decade of overall longevity." (RR)

"You’re going to start noticing a theme on this blog. Rhone varietals, specifically Grenache and Syrah, are where it’s at when it comes to value. I enjoy a fine Napa Cabernet, French Bordeaux, or Italian Barolo as much as anyone, but if I’m picking a wine off a wine list, or for my personal weeknight enjoyment, I pick a Southern Rhone or domestic Syrah every time. Why? It’s simple. Value. It’s easy to get a fantastic Napa Syrah but it will cost you. Not the case for Rhone varietals – domestic or international.

Vacqueyras wines are often called “mini Chateauneuf du Papes” but this is a wine many CdPs should look up to. It’s a full-bodied, concentrated and peppery wine that, at the same time, remains somewhat delicate and refined. A base of Grenache with a spot of Syrah and Mourvedre for good measure, this is pretty much textbook Southern Rhone. The best Southern Rhone vintage in the last few decades (2010), a 91 and 92 point score, in addition to a price tag well under $20 – which also happens to be the lowest in the country – make this another steal and fitting debut for our 90+ Point Bargains category." (Nickel and Dime)

Tasting Notes:
“Medium to full-bodied, voluptuously textured, and shows an overall fresh, pure feel. Still youthful and jam-like at this stage, it should flesh out with 2-3 years of bottle age, and emerge as an outstanding Vacqueyras that will drink well for 8-10 years.” (The Rhone Report)


Vacqueyras is one of the 3 or 4 areas in the Southern Rhone that produces the regions finest wines. It ranks with Gigondas and Rasteau and a touch below the most famous commune of that area Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Though I must say that this particular Vacqueyras is as good as many a Chateauneuf selling for double its price.

This deep ruby red wine does a wonderful job of combining appealing fruit along with a truffle/coffee-like earthy quality that gives the wine a depth that is a real asset. As for the fruit flavors the ones I most easily recognized were dark currants, cassis, anise and blueberries.

I find myself in agreement with Robert Parker when he writes of this fine wine (that is blended from three separate vinified lots, composed of, “(70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault) and exhibits a dark plum/ruby color, serious density and concentration and classic Provencal aromatic and flavor profiles of garrigue, licorice, kirsch, blacker fruits and hints of earth and truffles. One of the three lots that will go into this wine showed some oak, which does not make sense given the fact that the wine is aged in cement. Perhaps its sappy character was from the old vines. Domaine La Garrigue’s Vacqueyras have a very impressive track record for aging up to 10 years, so I don’t think there will be any problem as they are loaded with density and extract and have good serious structure without being astringent or overbearing.”

RATING: 91/92

PRICE: $17.95, ****bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)

Winery Notes:
Domaine La Garrigue recalls quintessential Provence: rugged, beautiful landscapes and honest, unpretentious people. The Bernard family, proprietors of both Domaine La Garrigue and the excellent restaurant "Les Florets" in Gigondas, are a generous, honest, and hardy lot. It comes as no surprise that their wines reflect their nature and character offering some of the most affordable and pleasurable drinking in Provence.

Domain La Garrigue takes its name from the wild herb de Provence and ground cover of Provence called Garrigue, a familiar scent often captured in their bottlings.