For a lot of European districts seemingly stuck in the legal mud of stoic classification, Vaqueyras is a relatively young success story, proving things CAN change. Of course it’s Grenache-dominated, but the usual suspects of Mourvedre, Syrah and Carignan fleshen things up in proper Southern Rhone fashion. Dark black ruby right out to the rim, the clean mustiness and rusticity on the nose tell both a story of old-world wines and modern vinification. Ripe and direct in fruit-application, dense cherry and plum play briar, tobacco and barnyard in carefully doled-out amounts, neither bretty or oxidized. New-world bright, this could honestly be Paso or Santa Barbara or Yorkville Highlands, NOT something sandwiched between Gigondas and CdP. A beautiful oak programme is apparent, creating an entirely modern bouquet, rife with woodsy distinction and sparkling fruit.
In the mouth, the richness of the fresh berry is addled with lazy acidity, sparking conversation about the final blend. Tannin encroaches heavily into the mid-palate, producing fantasies of extensive age-ability–which obviously cause re-reflection on the fruit for viability. It is not overly dense, managing a surprising lightness on its feet throughout, but the way all the parts are put together and inter-react, shows it means business. Light and easy by the standards of the three California AVA’s mentioned above, it never-the-less explores complexity DEFYING my mantra of, “GSM is for people who hate wine”. Mouth-coating and gritty, an ever-increasing barnyard funk with air playing heavily into the mouth-feel, it is lush–while not slutty–ripe–while not cloying–perfumed–while elegant and ancient–thick with seriousness–while easy-drinking. There’s a little heat, but I’m not letting it get too far under my skin. Fabulous stuff for the price.
2017 ANTOINE OGIER ‘Boiseraie’ GR/MV/SY/CG Vaqueyras France 15.0