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2013 Vinsobres Rouge, Domaine Chaume Arnaud
Domaine Chaume-Arnaud is owned and run by Valérie and Philippe Chaume-Arnaud, a young and vibrant couple with 13.5 hectares situated in and around Vinsobres, made up principally of Grenache (60%); Syrah (20%) with some ancient Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvedre (10%) plus Viognier and Marsanne (10%). Yields are kept low, all soil treatments are organic, and harvesting is done solely by hand. Most of the vines average 30 years old, going up to 65 for the Carignan in the Vinsobres cuvée.
Philippe looks after the vines while Valérie works the cellar, all under the watchful eye of her parents - her mother's method of tracking Philippe down is to drive literally into a vineyard and stand and scream at the top of her voice until he appears.
There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.
Vinsobres, along with Beaumes de Venise, has cause for celebration, , having been promoted to a stand-alone appellation in 2006 - in the vein of Gigondas or Vacqueyras - but now overtaking Cairanne and 12 or so other Cote du Rhone villages, in the local hierarchy.
This is primarily due to the relative altitude of the vines being recognised for lending complexity and structure to the wines. None are better at demonstrating this than the husband and wife team Philippe and Valérie Chaume Arnaud.