Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vinsobres Domaine Chaume-Arnaud, 2004

On a trip to France a couple of years ago, I tasted many fine wines but one of my most memorable was a carafe of generic Vinsobres at a sidewalk cafe in Vaison la Romaine. Full of peppery, spicy fruit, it brought back memories of another Vinsobres, the 1999 Chaume-Arnaud Vinsobres, I had on the banks of the St. Joseph River at Bistro Rio in Mendon, Michigan.

I've had my eye out for Vinsobres ever since, and this 2004 Chaume-Arnaud met my expectations and then some. It's a deep ruby/crimson with bluish tints from the Mourvedre in the blend. Aromas of herbs, cherries, purple flowers and tree bark. Again, the Mourvedre and the Syrah are dominant at this stage. On the palate, it's still a bit tight, but the Grenache (60%) is lurking, poised to gush out with red berries, pepper and spice. With some aeration, you can smell and taste it all--a beautiful wine to drink now and a real charmer in a couple of years.


  1. Apologies for such a late response but i only just stumbled across your very interesting blog when looking for chaume-arnauld references. I had just returned from tasting at this domaine, meeting philippe chaume for the first time and buying some bottles. By the way if you havent tried his white La Cadene you should, its one of the great bargains of the southern rhone. it seems we share a passion for the wife jude and i run a small wine holiday/tour business specialising in the southern rhone based at Malaucene in the foothills of Mt. Ventoux. Please do have a look at our web site, the blog might interest you from time to time. If you ever need a base for exploration in the area well you now know where we are! Keep up the excellent blogging, All the best , Philip

  2. Thank you very much for your interest, Philip. Feel free to comment at any time; you clearly have more extensive and direct knowledge about the area and the wines than I do, and I'd love to have your input.

    My passion for the wines goes back to the early 1980s and has been fueled in part by having excellent Rhone wines brought into my area of Michigan by Robert Mayberry, J.C. Mathes, Skip Delsner, Stephen Grant and others. The blog is mainly a matter of self indulgence, allowing me to ruminate and rave on about the wines I am enjoying each night with dinner...and perhaps help wine drinkers make some choices about the wines available to them. But an important side benefit is the chance to attract and communicate with wine drinkers with similar interests, wherever they may be, through the wonders of Google.

    La Madelene looks like a dream come true--both for you and for Rhone wine lovers like me. If I had the time and money, I would probably be on every single tour. We have visited the area twice--once in 1992 when we stayed with our kids in Vaison la Romaine and in Orange and again two summers ago when we stayed at Les Florets in Gigondas. Each time, the visit was all too short, and we intend to return. If and when we do, we'll certainly put La Madelene on our itinerary. It looks like an ideal way to combine food, wine and sight seeing.

    Thanks again for your interest. And come back regularly to comment on posts or add those of your own.