Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Domaine le Couroulu Vacqueyras, 1998

Now this is what Vacqueyras is all about! It's five years older than the 2003 Monardiere but much, much more vigorous and youthful--probably at its peak now but capable of giving pleasure for several more years.

Deep, deep crimson--the color has turned but there is no sign of amber or rust. No need to coax a bouquet from this wine; it's very aromatic--raspberries, blueberries, flowers, peppery spice and Vacqueyras minerals. On the palate, there is nice raspberry acidity at the front followed by characteristic black licorice and dark minerals. Flavors fill out on the mid-palate with ripe berried fruit and spice. Good old-fashioned Vacqueyras made by an artisan. Reminds me of the excellent wines made by this estate in 1985 and 1986.

I paid $9.98 for this bottle 20 years ago. Southern Rhone prices have escalated dramatically since that time, but the current vintage of Couroulu is available in most areas for $16 to $20.

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