Sunday, March 15, 2009

Domaine le Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras, 1998

Le Sang des Cailloux is one of the most highly regarded of Vacqueyras wines--so much so that the current vintage sells for $37.99 at Sam's in Chicago. I bought this 1998 at less than a third that price, even though it got very good reviews. All of these early reviews mentioned that the wine needed lots of aging time; even so, I was a bit worried about waiting so long to dip into my first bottle. My worries soon vanished.

The color is deep, dark and purplish. I wondered for a minute if it had been aged in new oak barriques, but the smells and flavors immediately told me this wine is traditional Vacqueyras at its best. I smell blueberries, earth, licorice, pepper, spice and some aggressive tannic notes that I've smelled before in young Gigondas wines such as Domaine du Cayron. In the mouth, it's ripe and super-concentrated--chewy, in fact. Powerful is the word for this wine. I'm looking forward to tracing its progress over the next five years or so.

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