93 Insider Points

REVIEWS

Hail to the Mighty Vacqueyras!

Ok, I'm done. It just sounds like a Norse god or something of the ilk. Either way, this is a wine that would be most welcome in the halls of Valhalla. I was most satisfied with it after a long day of battle. With my feet up on the coffee table and my favorite tv show on, I felt like the victor with Guintrandy in my glass. 

93 Points - JZ Sept '18

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Red Blend
  • APPELLATION
    Rhone Valley, France
  • ALCOHOL
    13.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

There is Cote du Rhone red, well loved on both sides of the pond for its fresh, jammy, Grenache-packed personality and its value compared to other French wines. Then there is wine like this Direct Import from a recent family owned find in the heart of the Rhone Valley. Vacqueyras is a village within the Cote Du Rhone. Like Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas and Lirac, Vacqueyras and the vines within its designated borders enjoys a micro-climate and a distinct terroir that puts it above and beyond the quality of your mere Cote du Rhone. In fact, the name Vacqueyras means “Valley of Stones,” a direct allusion to the very same large stones (or galets) found in Châteauneuf.

Our new friends Marie-Claude and Olivier Cuilleras make a wonderful and soulful Vacqueyras, full of the region’s famous garrigue (a spicy, herbal notes that is irresistible for Rhone fiends). Based largely on Grenache, as all Vacqueyras must be by law, this 2015 is packed with ripe boysenberry and raspberry fruit culminating in a very pretty, graceful finish. Drunk with lamb, chicken, ratatouille or anything with black olives, this poor woman’s Châteauneuf du Pape is so good, it will be a surefire hit with wealthy women, too.

  • The 2015 vintage in the Southern Rhone was rated 93 points by the Wine Advocate and 92 points or “Excellent” by the Wine Enthusiast.
  • A family estate since 1850, Domaine La Guintrandy is currently run by Marie-Claude and Olivier Cuilleras, the fifth and sixth generation of owner winegrowers.
  • Guintrandy farms according to “lute raisonnée,” a method that stays as close as possible to strictly organic farming practices, eschewing chemicals and with all harvests done by hand.
  • The reputation of Vacqueyras—known to the wine-drinking world as a stand in for Châteauneuf du Pape for considerably less money—belies the age of this young appellation, which was only officially designated as an AOC in 1990.
TASTING NOTES 

An elegant wine with dark red fruit flavors that provide a smooth, jammy mouthfeel. 

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the winery:

La Guintrandy is a wine estate situated on one of the most prestigious "terroir" or soils of Visan. "Le Devès." Practically all of our wines, including the rosé, are unfiltered and in order to preserve the bouquet and authenticity of certain wines, produced from the oldest red wines.

We have quite intentionally reduced the SO2 content of our wines in order to respect theist integrity and to avoid dry flavours (and headaches) that are so often to be found in other wines. The domaine "La Guintrandy" is situated at the gateway to the "Enclave des Papes" in the commune of Visan and Tulette. It is a modern vineyard steeped in history ; indeed, in 1966 the remains of Saracen burial ground were discovered on the land.

The name Guintrandy is derived from the Visigoth word Guntran, this place name found in the archives of the abbey of Cluny, which owned the land in around the year 1000. A well-preserved thirteenth century papal boundary stone marks the beginning of the domaine and the borderline between the modern Departments of the Drôme and the Vaucluse.

Later in time the Guintrandy family, nobles from Visan were to become the owners of the land and to settle in the Rue des Nobles ; though they cannot be raced after the middle of the 18th centuries. Since 1850 the domaine has been a family estate and Marie-Claude and Olivier Cuilleras are the fifth and sixth generation of owner winegrowers. The vineyard which crosses the Visan hamlet of Devès and the Tulette hamlets of Combes and Saint-Léger is situated at an altitude of between 180 and 230 meters on calcareous clay which lends itself particularly to wine growing.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Drink alone, or pair this with a savory chicken dish or a delicious veggie platter.