I firmly believe that Vinsobres is one of the most underrated areas of the Southern Rhone. And this domaine, owned and run by Valerie and Phillippe Chaume-Arnaud, is my favorite. Phillippe tends the vineyards; Valerie makes the wine. They are a young couple who believe in organic methods. And they also pay attention to the wine-making wisdom of their elders who have worked the land for years. Valerie's wine-making is traditional, eschewing both new oak and stainless steel in her effort to focus on the quality and purity of the fruit.
But even though I have confidence in the producers and the good 2004 vintage in the Southern Rhone, I still have a few doubts about this wine and its maturity. The color is a beautiful deep crimson, and the initial aromas are everything I could expect: freshly crushed blueberries, violets, herbs and black licorice. But there is also a bit of green toughness in the background--probably young Mourvedre. Flavors are the same--concentrated fruit and herb but with a tough, hard streak near the finish. It's still a good wine to stand up to grilled steak, and I really think this hard streak will mature into a beautiful Mourvedre spice-box component if I have the patience to give this wine some time.