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2012 Domaine Vaquer Cuvee Bernard Rouge 750ml

2012 Domaine Vaquer Cuvee Bernard Rouge

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Bottled a month before I tasted it this spring, but not showing any especially telltale marks of bottle-shock, the Vaquer 2012 Cuvee Bernard – co-fermented (with pump-overs, no pigeage) from half Carignan, 30% Grenache and 20% Syrah – features pure, infectiously juicy, seedy and pit-inflected fresh red currant and cherry tinged with high-toned almond and pistachio extracts and garlanded with thyme and buddleia. Texturally polished, its finish both soothing and stimulating, this exceptional value strikes me as best-suited to youthful enjoyment but should perform delightfully through at least 2016.

Having farmed nearly forty acres in the Aspres sub-region of Roussillon with a reputedly strong and infectious quality-consciousness, Bernard Vaquer is widely credited by former fellow-vignerons with inspiration and important influence on the progress of Roussillon wines, as were his father and grandfather, the last-named having been among the earliest estate-bottlers anywhere in Roussillon as well as one of if not the first to introduce Syrah. Since her husband’s death in 2001, Dijon-raised Frederique Vaquer has been managing this estate, and it was through her and her recent connection with U.S. importer Dan Kravitz that I belatedly discovered the considerable intrigue and sensual satisfaction delivered by its wines. While a leading light in the Aspres sub-region, Domaine Vaquer utilizes the sub-appellation Cotes du Roussillon Les Aspres for only one of its bottlings, otherwise retaining (or requiring) the flexibility conveyed by the vin de pay designation “Cotes Catelanes.”

91 Points - Wine Advocate

Producer: Domaine Vaquer
Website: www.domaine-vaquer.com

Price: $29.99
Sale Price: $24.99

Availability: 4

Available Vintages:

Varietal: Grenache
Grenache has claims to have originated in Spain and Sardinia where it is known as Garnacha and Cannonau respectively. No matter where it originated this sun-loving grape has spread with great popularity across the world. The grape’s compatibility with regions that offer long sunny summers ensures a high build up of sugars and conversely low acidity. This and its soft tannin make it a great blending grape with firmer, more structured varieties such as Syrah and Mourvedre to form the trio blend often called GSM. Grenache is frequently grown alongside its blending partners in the esteemed regions of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone valley and accross South Australia. Unlike a lot of other varieties Grenache needs relatively little attention and is quite happy to be left on poor, unirrigated soils. Because of this hearty nature, pockets of old, neglected, but still productive vines have been found around the world. With enough pruning, these old vines yield small amounts of intense fruit with spectacular results in varietal wines. Depending on where it is grown and how it is handled Grenache can vary from earthy and peppery to jammy red and black fruit with sweet spice qualities. It is also the key constituent (at least 50%) in the wines of Banyuls, one of France’s finest Vins Doux Naturels appellations.

Country: France
A country viewed by many as the home of fine wine, it is almost unique in terms of how embedded food and wine is in the nations culture. Given the diverse geography, with so much of the country providing the climate and soil suitable for viticulture, it is no surprise that its produces such an extensive and varied selection of wines. It is the country from where the vast majority of the New World's most popular "international" grapes and stylistic influences originate. While there might seem to be an alarming disparity between the most sought after wines (were a case might set you back as much as a deposit on a small house) and the millions of gallons of vin de table filling up the European wine lake every year, there is so much great value to be found between the two extremes. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhone may still dominate the market for fine wine, but regions including the Loire, Alsace, Languedoc & Roussillon and the South West are increasingly becoming excellent sources of good quality, affordable wines.

Region: Languedoc and Roussillon
The Languedoc and Roussillon are two adjoining but distinctly separate wine regions in southern France. The Languedoc consists of two main regions: The Aude, home to the sub-regions of Limoux, Corbieres, Fitou, Minervois, and the Herault, which includes Picpoul de Pinet and the vin doux naturels producing regions of Banyuls, Frontignan, Lunel and Mireval.


Type: Red
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used. Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.