2019 Domaine Fontaine du Clos, Vacqueyras AOC Rouge, Reflets de l’âme, Rhône Valley, France.
The beautifully concentrated, perfumed, spicy and delicious Domaine Fontaine du Clos cuvée Reflets de l’âme is made from 55% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre, from vines grown on the slopes in the Vacqueyras region. The vineyards are located on the guarriges of Sarrians, that benefit from clay, smooth pebbles, gravel and alluvial soils and the Mediterranean climate with its cold winters, hot summers and, as the winery notes, the famous cool Mistral winds, all coming together to provide a distinct terroir influence and fabulous wines. The pure and full bodied palate is warmly generous without being heavy with pleasure filled dark berry, plum and black cherry fruits along with crushed flowers, pepper, sticky lavender, subtle earthy/savory tones, anise and creme de cassis. I hadn’t had this multi-generational Vaucluse family run estate before, but after this wine, I will be looking to get more of their wines, especially as I’m a big Vacqueyras fan, a region that produces Chateauneuf du Pape quality wines with less pretense and at such a reasonable price, as this one does.

Céline and Jean-François Barnier’s Fontaine du Clos winery, proud independent vignerons, blends historic traditions with modern clean practices to make richly flavored and transparent wines, like their Vacqueyras Côtes du Rhône Village, with hand sorted sustainable 100% de-stemming grapes. Each of the three varieties, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, are vinified separately with the mentioned traditional and ancestral vinification, with 21 days on the skins, under controlled temperature with two daily pumping over. Then the wine is pressed and saw aging in concrete tanks, for just under a year, for freshness and to preserve, what the winery calls, the wines terroir authenticity. Fontaine du Clos makes more than 14 different wines, in IGP Vaucluse, in the AOC Vacqueyras and Côtes du Rhône and grow more than 40 different varietals, in fact they maintain their own vine nursery to preserve their unique genetic clones. The dark garnet and purple Fontaine du Clos Vacqueyras is a savvy buy and delivers an expressive, balanced and deep performance, making it an excellent companion with any hearty meal, but easily flexible to go with pizza and hard sleep cheeses, it’s a no brainer for Rhône lovers.
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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