Taste Vacqueyras As It Was Meant to Be
Sourced exclusively from gnarled 85- to 110-year-old vines, this 2015 Domaine de la Colline St. Jean vieilles vignes Grenache-Syrah cuvée is a surprising outlier — displaying an elegance and delineation seldom found in Vacqueyras. In the outstanding 2015 Southern Rhône growing season, Cyril and Aurélie Alazard turned out, “A big, blockbuster-styled beauty to buy by the case,” notes Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, awarding 91-93+ points no wonder The Wine Advocate ranks it “one of my favorite Vacqueyras.”
While I agree with the case-buy, my experience with the wine is that it showed a more classic, and refined style. Domaine de la Colline St. Jean is now my rising star estate in Vacqueyras. In fact, this is the purest expression of Vacqueyras I have ever tried. At $29 per bottle, this is for sure one of the great deals within a stellar, Southern Rhône vintage!
Throughout the rolling patchwork of the Southern Rhône’s vineyards, 2015 was sensational, and ranks amongst the greatest vintages, perhaps even better than superlative Rhône years of 1978, ‘89, ‘95, ‘01, ‘05, ‘07, ‘09 and ‘10. Antonio Galloni’s Vinous called 2015 in Vacqueyras, a “picture-perfect growing season.” The Wine Advocate praised the reds’ “beautiful purity of fruit,” calling the vintage “a treasure trove for the actual wine drinkers out there.”
While the vintage may account for some of this bottle’s intensity, cut, and definition (Wine Spectator rated the vintage 97 points), I pay homage to the 85-110 year old vines, and Alazard’s philosophy in handling the old vine material. Unlike new oak, which imparts flavor and leads to faster oxidation, concrete is neutral, helping retain fruit purity, while its porous walls feed microscopic amounts of air into the wine. Thus allowing the vine, soil and vintage to shine with more clarity.
Few wines under $40 can stand toe to toe with this type of purity, aromatic delineation and old vine fruit intensity, as this wine from Domaine de la Colline St-Jean. Get your case before our allocation gives out.
Sur Lucero MS
Vice President of Wine, Wine Access