Vacqueyras, Cuvée des Templiers, 2016

  Clos Des Cazaux

Much redder-fruited than the 2015, very racy, crisp and firm flavours packed with crunchy peppery forest berry fruit with gentle floral notes in the background. The structure is tight-knit and gives the wine gravitas, yet the quality of fruit shines brightly through. A Syrah dominated blend whole bunch fermented then aged in large steel tanks.

Contains Sulphites.

About Clos Des Cazaux

Jean-Michel Vache has an enviable spread of sun-trapped vineyards, a parcel of which is planted with old Syrah vines. The hot summers and fully-exposed vines usually prompt a Vacqueyras harvest up to two weeks earlier than that of the cooler hilly sites of Gigondas. These often baking hot conditions during the growing season mean that less conscientious viticulteurs can produce rustic, fully-charged red wines where the lack of balance makes more than one glass over dinner a virtual impossibility! Luckily Jean-Michel is not one of these, in fact quite the opposite. His passion for good wine prevents him from allowing his grapes to over-ripen and from using any split or unhealthy ones for fermentation, which often affects purity of flavour and acidity levels. Acidity and purity are further preserved by maturation of all of the wines in steel and concrete vat. The delicious Templiers is made mainly from old vines Syrah displaying great depth, richness and fi nesse. The complex, structured and powerful Gigondas La Tour Sarrazine, which only comes from vines high up in the Dentelles, is a full-flavoured Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre blend that demonstrates the harmonising effect of good fruit and acidity in a wine.

Appellation: Vacqueyras

Vacqueyras is a predominantly red wine-producing appellation in the Southern Rhône, though some whites and rosés can also be found. It was the second of the Côtes du Rhône villages, after Gigondas, to be given its own appellation, in 1990. The blend is usually Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Cinsaut. The vineyard area is about the size of Gigondas, covering nearly 1000ha. Vacqueyras tends to be a very powerful, rich wine, being at a lower altitude than Gigondas, and can be a bit heavier and less aromatic. Nonetheless there are a number of good wines, packed with character that make excellent value for money. Some particularly fine examples are made by Domaine Clos des Cazaux, Domaine de la Monardière and Chateau des Tours.

Grape Blend: Syrah | Grenache

Two of the key components of the top Southern Rhône blends, Châteauneuf-du-Pape the most famous example. The two are generally only found as a blend on their own in the Languedoc, used for fruit-driven, early drinking Vin de Pays wines. The Grenache with its body, sweetness and warmth and Syrah with its colour tannic structure and spicy black fruit characteristics, are ideally suited to each other.