The Southern Rhone Valley
Along the Rhone River you have the dominant Syrah based wines or 100% Syrahs of Cornas, Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage , Cote Rotie. As you can see on the map, the Southern Rhone , which is mostly Grenache Dominant Wines you have Cotes Du Rhone, Vacqueyras, the famous Chateauneuf du Pape and this wine I am reviewing today from Gigondas. The soil is lots of clay and limestone and rocks which gives those wines great terroir elements and minerality.
Domaine De Verquiere
Situated in Sablet in the Rhone Valley, the DOMAINE DE VERQUIERE Winery is a 45-hectare estate that has been passed down from father to son over four generations. Today the Winery is managed by Romain and Thibaut CHAMFORT who is perpetuating and developing the family vineyard according to age-old traditions.
Thanks to his experience built up both in France and abroad (California and South Africa) Thibaut intends to make the most of his legacy by ensuring continued improvement of the quality of the wines and placing the name ‘Domaine de Verquiere’ firmly on the map of the very best Rhone Valley wines.
Thibaut has put all his passion and commitment into converting the vineyard to organic agriculture and obtained the certification in 2014 – The French Organic Wine certification FR BIO 10.
The soil is worked at depth to bring out all the true character of the terroir, making it less compact and encouraging the proliferation of micro organisms in the soil which enhances the qualities of the terroir and consequently the wine.
All this special attention paid to the vines has led to small yields, below the regulatory yields of each appellation.
Thanks to a spacious cellar and traditional vat room, Thibaut explores the potential of each parcel and each varietal.
2013 Domaain De Verquiere Gigondas
80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and just a dollop of 5% Mourvedre. The average age of these vines are 50 years old or more. This is all manual hand harvested grapes. They do not de-stem the Grenache and ferment all the grapes in this wine separately and then blend after. They get maximum extraction out of these wines and the color of Gigondas is always almost black. This is another fine selection from the portfolio of French Libation who I went to France with back in July of 2018. Once you are a Rhone Ranger either Southern Rhone or Northern Rhone, it’s a habit you can’t break. Let’s take this one out for a spin and review
Certainly a wine that is just becoming approachable but could go many more years in the cellar. I chilled it down to 64 degrees as recommended on the bottle label after the two hours of aeration. On the color it is dark almost black in the center with a lighter variation on the rim due to the 5 years age. Medium plus on the viscosity and a 14% ABV typical of this region. On the nose, highly perfumed of spicy, mocha, blackberry liqueur . A little herbaceous, On the palate a very juicy intense style of black fruits, lots of plum and acidity, spicy on the back end with a very firm yet long lasting tannin grip. This is really a big boy wine. I can’t find any faults that would deter me from recommending this wine. I would score it 92 out of 100 points. For the one chilly night per month in South Florida, Stews, Chili, Sharp Aged Cheeses or Brisket is the way to go with a food pairing. Drinking well now and has many years to go to reach it’s peak.
If you aren’t a Grenache fan now, this wine might be your game changer. It’s just such a pleasure at least for me. to go back to the Old World and not taste Jam Bombs and Oak Bombs, and Vanilla Syrup. For $25.99 you get a wine that would easily be just if not more enjoyable than many higher priced Chateauneuf Du Papes. New world especially Napa Fans or Argentine Fans may not fall in love at first but I believe they will start to enjoy with food these types of artisan handcrafted wines and minus all the Sugar. Bring out the Slow Cooker and get the Chili going or Stew and enjoy this wine from Gigondas. Sainte!
Grape-fully yours, Larry
Meet Thibaut Chambort