Vinsobres is the most northerly of the southern appellations, so it is no surprise that this cuvée has a high proportion of Syrah (80%), supported by Grenache. The 80 year old vines in the 500m elevated 4 hectare parcel are kept cool by a stiff breeze and cool nights. At 40km north of Châteauneuf, the Syrah shows characteristics similar to the Northern appellation of Cornas, with a deep purple colour, violets and graphite aromas on the nose and a distinct freshness on the palate. The sweetly spiced dark fruit is enhanced by some new oak. Glossy and stylish, falling geographically and stylistically between north and south.
From the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel. This has really vibrant blackberry and blackcurrant aromas with sage and thyme beneath, very fresh and well-defined. The full-bodied wine has concentrated fruits, with clear oak influence that's well integrated and adds spice and complexity of aroma and texture. It has good tannic grip, fine acidity and plenty of fruit for a punchy but well-balanced wine that's a bit of a beast. Drink 2019-2026
Bold dark red colour. The bouquet is brimming, full of blackberry, with some sweet oak, rosemary, marjoram, licorice, black olives. It’s a true southern wine. This is intrinsically powerful, with a welling up of crushed blackberries, and texture from ripe crop and a relatively high degree. The finish has a spark of clarity, licorice there. It’s not confected, but is in that vein, so the longer you wait, the better.
The Perrin family have been making wine in the Rhône Valley since 1909, when the great-grandfather of Jean-Pierre and François Perrin bought, originally as a weekend and summer retreat from the town, Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. His son-in-law, Pierre, took on the running of the vineyard that was already there, but had become very overgrown, and Beaucastel is now one of the top estates in the Rhône Valley. In the seventies, Pierre's son, Jacques, with his son, Jean-Pierre, set up La Vieille Ferme, anégociant business selling a good value pair of wines from the Rhône Valley - bringing the expertise and attention to detail from sixty years of making top-of-the-range wine to slightly more humble appellations. Over the years, and with the addition of Jean-Pierre's sons, Marc, Pierre andThomas to the family business, this has grown into a range of ‘cru' wines that embody theindividuality and character of each of their appellation areas including Vinsobres and Gigondas.
Made up of 1300 hectares, Vinsobres is the newest AOC in the Rhône Valley, moving up from a Côtes du Rhône Villages to a cru (like Vacqueyras and Gigondas) in November 2005. According to appellation rules, it must be 50% Grenache and at least 25% of either Syrah or Mourvèdre, though Carignan and Cinsault as also permitted. Many people consider it the most ‘northern' of theSouthern Rhône appellations due to its higher altitude (400 metres above sea level) and more northerly position (30 km north of Châteauneuf du Pape) which enable its wines to retain its freshness and focus, notably in warmer vintages.