Thursday, December 23, 2010

Domaine la Monardiere Vacqueyras Les Calades, 2003

Year after year this is one of my favorite moderately priced Vacqueyras wines. The 2001 was drinking beautifully at the same age, and the 1998 was fine at age 10. My last bottle of the 2003 was about a year ago, and I had no complaints then. But it has now gone the way of the 2003 Rasteau below--not a dead Vacqueyras but close enough.

The color is noticeably lighter than a typical Southern Rhone, and the nose is also attenuated. I get the licorice and black fruits that are part of the Vacqueyras profile but without the power and vibrant flavors that are usually part of the package. Much better than the Rasteau, but that isn't saying much.

Robert Parker predicted the 2003 Rhones would be great if given proper time. Robert Parker has been right on many issues; one the 2003 Southern Rhones, I would say that he is dead wrong.

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