I just don't think I can say enough about the 2007 vintage in the Southern Rhone. I have tried quite a few 2007 Rhones now, and I have yet to find a wine that doesn't deliver delicious taste and outstanding value. This is true of wines ranging from the most basic Cotes-du-Rhone right up to the outstanding 2007 Chateauneuf-du-Papes. There are also outstanding value to be found in some of the up and coming villages in the Southern Rhone like Gigondas and Vacqueyras.
Today's subject is one of many great values I have found from Vacqueyras. The Domaine La Monardiere Les 2 Monardes Vacqueyras 2007 is medium red in your glass. The nose brings a wonderful mix of berry fruit with an element of licorice and some very subtle forest floor. In your mouth the wine is a little lighter than most wines from Vacqueyras. It has a very refined and elegant medium-bodied mouthfeel. The blackberry, cherry, and raspberry fruit is accompanied by a little bit of spice, and very nice acidity and mild tannins provide outstanding balance. Overall, this is a beautifully structured, very food friendly Southern Rhone that drinks like a much more expensive wine, and the $21 price tag makes it an excellent value.
As far as pairings go, this is a wonderful wine for those foods that could get overwhelmed by heavier reds. I love it with pork tenderloin or seared duck breast. It would also be great to serve with a diverse mix of cheeses.