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Wednesday, November 24


Vacqueyras is a little village at the feet of the Dentelles de Montmirail, a set of small stony hills close to the Mont Ventoux, the local mountain. It is a recent addition to the list of French AOCs, those regulated and protected wines that can only be produced in a designated areas, and under rules which aim at protecting quality. In 1991, the first AOC vintage from Vacqueyras was produced, while Gigondas, literally five minutes north of here, has been one almost from the start of the AOC concept. In any case, we visited only one domain here, Domaine du Couroulu, but were very happy with the wines there. Their everyday mainstays were balanced and vigorous, without excess or gratuitous oak. Their "Vieilles Vignes" 2000 was delicious, powerfully fruity but with earthy undertones of musk which apparently are a trademark of this area of Cotes du Rhone as they age. Didn't buy any, but probably should have. Location : Vacqueyras, France

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