The Domaine du Terme Vacqueyras 2015 is made by Anne-Marie Gaudin and her father Rolland in the Southern Rhone. They reside in the foothills of the short, steep mountains called The Dentelles de Montmirail. They have vines in Gigondas, Sablet, and a tight 3 hectares of vines Vacqueyras. While not certified organic, they work their vineyards by hand and eschew herbicides and pesticides. We were particularly knocked out by their Vacqueyras, a blend of Grenache and Syrah that’s both big and rugged and polished. It spends 6-8 months in large, well-worn oak barrels, then another 2 years in steel vats before bottling. This Terme Vacqueyras is a concentrated wine at a little price that will continue to develop for another decade.

Tasting note: The flavors and aromas of this Domaine du Terme 2015 Vacqueyras cracks with ripe red and black fruits. Stylishly baked fruit flavors followed by flavors of orange, oregano, sage, soy sauce, smoke and licorice. This Grenache/Syrah blend has a full body with medium acidity and medium+ tannins. The tannins have a certain ruggedness to them. Fitting squarely into the “grippy” category. Ripe and full bodied, this wine is a terrific specimen of Vacqueyras and demonstrates its competitiveness with Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Plenty more room for development and a steal at $26 a bottle.

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