Vieux Chene's inexpensive Vaucluse wines come from vines around the winery, according to the domaine's web site. And they must be very good vines because these wines are usually several steps above VDP quality. Vieux Chen's Cuvee Friande and Cuvee de la Dame Vieille are made up of varying blends of Grenache and Syrah. And in 2009 and 2010, the estate produced a 100% Syrah and a 100% Grenache from the Vaucluse appellation. I tried the 2009 Grenache earlier this year and was quite impressed; this 2009 Syrah is also a winner.
At least at this stage the wine has a strong black pepper component--vigorous and very attractive. Also some dark berries, lavender and herbs. It's definitely Syrah--warm climate in the Rhone, cool climate in Australia. Plenty of tannins on the mid palate. It will be interesting to see how the wine evolves, but I love it at this aggressively youthful stage. Black raspberries and lavender on the finish. At 13.5%, the alcohol level is just right, and at $7.49, the price is perfect.