It's getting so easy that it's almost getting silly. I used to work so hard to search out values from the Southern Rhone, constantly asking my favorite retailers what they have and searching things out online. With the 2007 vintage, though, the search has almost become too easy. There are so many good values and frankly so many great values that I am pinching myself.
The Chapelle St. Arnoux Vacqueyras 2007 is one of those many great values that I have been fortunate to find from the Southern Rhone. If you like Vacqueyras as much as I do, you know that most of these wines sell in the $20 to $40 range and are often quite good values in that price range. This Chapelle St. Arnoux is a steal at $13. After tasting it and checking and re-checking what I paid for it, I was certain that some local or federal law enforcement officials would be visiting me to discuss the grand larceny that I had committed. This wine drinks like it should be three times the price.
The Chappelle St. Arnoux Vacqueyras is made from 70% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 5% Mourvedre and exhibits a red-purple color in your glass. The bouquet is wonderful and quite interesting in that the fruit component changed pretty significantly as the wine opened up. When first poured after 15 minutes in decanter, it smelled like sweet cherry pie in a glass, but as the wine opened up, the sweet cherries were joined by an equal component of blackberry. You also picked up some classic Rhone garrigue and the subtlest hint of leather. On the palate the wine brings sweet cherry and blackberry fruit with a hint of red currant. The fruit is complemented by some herbs and spice. It has very nice acidity and mild tannins that are very well integrated. Overall, this is an amazing wine for the price.
From a pairing standpoint, this is one of those wines that can go a lot of ways. I had it with a grilled pork tenderloin and felt that is worked pretty well. It would also pair nicely with a variety of cheeses if you are looking for one red wine to serve with a wide selection of cheese.
If you're interested in seeing other wines form Vacqueyras please see this link http://acoupleofwines.blogspot.com/search/label/Vacqueyras
If you're interested in seeing other wines from the Southern Rhone please see this link http://acoupleofwines.blogspot.com/search/label/Southern%20Rhone