Jean-Claude and Beatrice Bouche at Domaine du Vieux Chene are committed to organic farming and wine-making. So it's no surprise that their wines are always on display at a very good price ($7.49 to $8.99) at Sawall's, my local health food store. There is a Vin de Pays Grenache as well as the VDP Syrah plus a 50/50 blend, Cuvee la Dame Vieille. I love all of them and could drink them every night were there not other wines waiting in the cellar. The Bouches also produce several cuvees of Cotes du Rhone and Cotes du Rhone Villages, which are, of course, even better.
This Syrah needs a bit more time. Deep Syrah color and tight, reduced smells and flavors at first. With aeration (the Rabbit works well), it opens up nicely, though. Black fruits, lavender and peppercorns. Very peppery--the Syrah kind, freshly ground black pepper. In Australia, this would be a cool climate Syrah and would rank with some of the best. In the Rhone, that black pepper trait is more common in the warmer Southern Rhone. Firm, even with aeration but still pleasant to drink and will only get better. 13.5% alcohol is just right. So is the price.