The vines of Vinsobres stretch over a swath of 7 kilometers of hillside vineyards in the southern Rhone Valley. The sun-drenched climate and the stony, marl soil of the slopes offer prime growing conditions for Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Protected from the mistral (the steady wind that blows off of the Mediterranean), set at higher elevation than its neighbors in the region, Vinsobres produces not only excellent Grenache, but concentrated, stylish Syrah, making it the southern Rhone village with wines that have the most affinity to the refined wines of the northern Rhone.
In the southern Rhone Valley near Chateauneuf du Pape, a small group of producers from a handful of villages are making rich, ripe and seductive wines from old vine Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.
This is a true gem of a wine, ready to drink now, and at only a fraction of the price of neighboring Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas.
The 2004 "Reference" from brothers Richard and Pascal Jaume is a gorgeous blend of Syrah (50%), Grenache (40%), and Mourvedre (10%). The wine is vinified for 1 year in a mix of older barrels to allow the great structure and power of the old-vine fruit to fully develop. There are deep red notes to the wine with morello cherry and sweet leather rounding out the nose. The wine is drinking beautifully now.
One of the most enticing aspects of this wine is its versatility. A meal with the Jaume family last year showcased this wine with the wonderful aromas and power of truffles. Potatoe gratin with black truffle, leg of lamb studded with truffles, and truffle butter on toast were the perfect accompaniment.