About this WINE
La Bastide St. Vincent
Flanking the evocatively named Dentelles de Montmirail, with vines on the equally evocative Plateau des Garrigues, La Bastide St. Vincent is a delightful, family-owned wine domaine with 17th century origins.
Laurent Daniel farms the famous trio - Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes, vinyfiying them separately in a combination of cement and stainless steel. He keeps temperatures relatively low to allow full and generous expression of the fruit flavours.
VDP du Vaucluse
The Vin de Pays du Vaucluse wine region lies in the western part of Provence (along the border with Rhone) in the department of Vaucluse. Mountains occupy a significant proportion of the eastern half of the department, with Mont Ventoux, also known as "the Giant of Provence", dominating the landscape.
The region has attracted investment by some leading winemakers from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, who have acquired vineyards on the slopes of Mont Ventoux.
The Brunier brothers from Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, produce a wine at Domaine la Roquette which they have choose classify as Vin de Pays du Vaucluse, as the blend experiments with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon to the dominant Grenache.
Another excellent ambassador of the region is Domaine de Chapoton.
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.