Inky, Bursting Rhône Red: New $25 Organic Vacqueyras

The Clos du Joncuas might be the most exciting recent find in our portfolio. Based in Gigondas in the Southern Rhône, sisters Dany and Carol Chastan learned their craft from their parents and grandparents, and have themselves been farming organically for 40 years.

This is old school winemaking: ambient yeasts, no oak (not even foudres), 100% whole cluster, no fining or filtering. It sounds like a recipe for a big rustic wine, but the Chastan sisters somehow managed to produce wines of superb texture and subtlety.

We don’t know what goes into their alchemy, but it’s pretty easy to like what comes out.

Last year the 2016 Joncuas Gigondas made lots of friends among our readers. That wine is back in stock (as is the exciting 2017), but today we’re focused on their simpler wine — the 2018 Vacqueyras. This wine blew us away at our tasting this spring, and a glass yesterday of the just-arrived batch confirmed our enthusiasm.

Made from Grenache and a splash of Mourvèdre, this wine resembles a cool inky Syrah, even though it’s absent from the blend. A floral nose gives way to ripe raspberries, lavender, sweet plums and earth. This is rich wine whose first impression is nonetheless freshness. There is good underlying structure, but the wine utterly without harsh or drying tannins.

This makes a powerful argument for being the best $25 bottle in the store.


Joncuas Vacqueyras 2018
bottle price: $25

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