Red, Ready, but will improve

2010 Vacqueyras, Les Aubes, Domaine Santa Duc

2010 Vacqueyras, Les Aubes, Domaine Santa Duc

Red | Ready, but will improve | Domaine Santa Duc | Code:  11175 | 2010 | France > Rhône > Vacqueyras | Southern Rhône Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 15.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

PARKER

87-89/100

PARKER - The 2010 Vacqueyras Les Aubes seems cut from the same mold, only with a slightly more streamlined personality. Perhaps the acids are more tart, and it has good freshness and elegance to it.
(Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Oct 2011)

The Producer

Domaine Santa Duc

Domaine Santa Duc

Domaine Santa Duc is one of the reference points of winemaking in Gigondas as well as one of the model estates in the southern Rhone

Santa Duc was founded in 1874 in Gigondas. Duc is the name of an owl, which has sensibly selected Provence as its preferred home. The Duke of Gigondas is the irrepressible Yves Gras, the 4th generation of winemakers at the property, whose aspiration is to forge an identity for this Medieval appellation that sets it apart from all of its neighbours.

The domain has 13 ha in Gigondas and 10 ha in the Rhone Villages wine appellations of  Rasteau, Cairanne, Sablet and also produces some of the best buys in Cotes du Rhone (Les Quatres Terres), a Vin du Pays de Vaucluse and a Cotes de Ventoux Blanc.

The range of Gigondas cuvess at Domaine Santa Duc includes the Cuvee Tradition and Les Hautes Garrigues (made in only the best vintages) and in 2007 a new, 100% Grenache, limited production (4,000-bottles - from 80yo vines) cuvee (Gigondas 66) has been released.

All three of these Gigondas are thrilling wines of top-notch quality. They set reference points for what Gigondas can be.

The Grape

Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

The Region

Vacqueyras

Vacqueyras

Vacqueyras was the second Côtes du Rhônes Villages to be upgraded to AOC status, after Gigondas, in 1990 and rightly so. These excellent-value wines are like turbo-charged Côtes du Rhônes: dark and rich with the classic herbs and warm peppery spice of the Southern Rhône.

Compared to neighbouring Gigondas, they are slightly more restrained and rustic – in the best sense of the word – and slightly cheaper. They are made from a little less Grenache (50 percent minimum) with the balance made up with SyrahMourvèdre and Cinsault.

You should give Vacqueyras two to three years to come round, but they can then last up to a decade. The 770 hectares of vineyards are spread across the communes of Vacqueyras and Sarrians in the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail and produce almost exclusively red wines. The small amount of fresh, fruity rosé is normally well worth the search, while the tiny amount of white wine is mostly not.

Recommended producers: La Bastide de St. VincentMontirius

 

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