2020 Vieux Clocher
James Suckling: 92
The Arnoux family has been growing the grapes in Vacqueyras since 1717. Over the past 300 years the estate grew to the current 40 ha. They practise the "lutte raisonée" approach to farming, so their wines are always focused and concentrated. 2019 signals another impressive vintage in the Rhône Valley. Fruit and warmth best define the harvest, a glorious millésime solaire that offers intricately structured wines with dazzling energy and balance.
Nestled at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, the region is swamped by heat and sunlight, but cooled by the powerful Mistral. Upon achieving optimal ripeness, traditional vinification takes place in stainless steel thermo-regulated tanks. The grapes are fully destemmed, crushed and fermented at a warm 25°C before a 15 day maceration. The wine is then transported to the underground cellar where the wine will rest for 6 months in oak. The final blend is 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre.
The nose is racy, fruity, well-built and offers a fine grain as well as a small power. It reveals notes of fleshy cherry, small wild berries, small notes of grey pepper associated with small touches of pulpy bright blackberry, sense of the place, Garrigue, very discreet hints of nutmeg and a subtle hint of thyme flowers. The palate is fruity, well-balanced and offers juiciness, an acidulous frame, gourmandize, a good definition as well as a small juiciness and a beautiful juicy fruit. On the palate this wine expresses notes of juicy cassis, bright Boysen berry, small notes of small red berries associated with touches of crunchy, juicy cherry as well as hints of redcurrant, cherry blossom, violet as well as a subtle hint of sense of the place and thyme flowers. Good length. Tannins are elegant and well-built.
|Producer||Arnoux & Fils|