Domaine du Vieux Chene has always been one of my favorite wines. With prime property and old vineyards on the road between Gigondas and Orange, Beatrice and Jean Claude Bouche are committed to organic vineyards and traditional winemaking. And their wines are always very distinctive and flavorful.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, when Cotes du Rhones sold for $5 to $7 a bottle, Cuvee de la Haie aux Grives was on my yearly shopping list. Now that CDR prices have gone up a bit, I tend more to buy the less expensive Vin de Pays offerings from Vieux Chene and have reported on them frequently. They are so good that I am rarely tempted to dig into my pocket a little deeper for the more expensive Cotes du Rhones. I paid $12.99 for this bottle. And, yes, it is at least 50% better than the excellent $8 Vin de Pays I've been buying.
Deep violet ruby. Smells and tastes tannic but it opens nicely and is at its best on the third night. This is a serious wine that will continue to age well. Black fruits, dark spices and flowers with a dash of black licorice. On the second and third nights, I can find more of the black pepper that I love in Southern Rhones. Haie aux Grives, I believe, has more Syrah in the blend than its sibling, Cuvee des Capucines. Both are very good. And sometimes, it pays to dig a little deeper in the pocket and drink wine that is even better.