Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A wine made from the blood of the stones

That's the 2001 Vacqueyras Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux Cuvée de Lopy. The wine is from Vacqueyras, an appellation in the Southern Rhône next to Gigondas and to the east of Châteauneuf du Pape.

It is produced by Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux, which means Blood of the stones, a 17 hectare estate located on an arid plateau made of red clay and limestone layered by rounded stones — the famous galets roulés that characterize the terroir of Châteauneuf du Pape. On the plateau, the summers are dry and hot but can be cooled down by the strong Mistral wind that blows from the north down the Rhône Valley.

Although it has not been officially certified organic, the vineyard has been farming organically for years. The Cuvée de Lopy is 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah from 55 to 65 year-old vines. Lopy is the name of the farm where the owner, Serge Férigoule, was born. After being manually harvested, the grapes are fermented using indigenous yeasts and then aged in large 450-liter barrels. The wine is unfined and unfiltered.

The wine was dark, rich, dense and amazingly fresh at the same time thanks to its high acidity. It was also perfectly balanced leaving a layered finish of wild berries, spices, and licorice. It was aso the perfect wine for a chilly evening. Try it with a Provençal Daube and don't forget the orange peel, that's the dish's secret ingredient!

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