From the Archives
Bargain Of The Year?
by Kermit Lynch
1990 Vacqueyras Sang Des Cailloux
Attention: lovers of old-fashioned Rhônes such as Faraud’s Gigondas. I have a surprise for you. Here is a great 1990 from a superb domaine called Sang des Cailloux (blood of the stones).
Wait until you see the color. This wine lives up to its name. It is the darkest, prettiest blood you will ever see.
And the aroma! Loaded with spice and black pepper, the magical scent of the Provençal garrigue, and all so expansive you can breathe it in.
And the palate? Provence so thick you can chew it before swallowing. And it has an intriguing stony finish that calls to mind a great Vieux Télégraphe, that impression that the wine was filtered over stones. Don’t worry. It was not filtered. So where does that stony, gunflint finish come from? Easy to explain. The rain water is filtered by Sang des Cailloux’s stony soil, then sucked up by the thirty-year-old vine roots, eked out into the grapes, which are then vinified and put into bottles. Of course it tastes like stones!
After striking out for years in search of a worthy Vacqueyras, Patricia Wells (who has a property nearby) advised me to visit Sang des Cailloux. I bought their excellent 1989, then along came 1990, which is the finest Vacqueyras I have ever tasted. I’ll go farther. I think it is one of the most impressive Southern Rhônes I have ever tasted, and it reeks of my beloved Provence.
The seventeen hectare domaine is run by Monsieur Férigoule (pronounced fairy ghoul). He has 20% Syrah, 5% Cinsault, 10% Mourvèdre, and 65% Grenache.
It will age beautifully. At the price, I cannot think of anything from the Rhône more impressive or more delicious.
Wow! —April 1993