2016 Domaine de L’Oiselet, Vacqueyras AOC, Rhone Valley, France.
The 2016 L’Oiselet Vacqueyras is brilliantly focused and layered with rich and opulent dark fruits, this drinks very close to a top Chateauneuf du Pape in style, led by concentrated Grenache, making it very impressive and heady in the glass. Located at the foot of Mont Ventoux and of the Dentelles de Montmirail, the Domaine de L’Oiselet sits right in the middle of the Vacqueyras appellation, on a rocky plateau that has the classic clay and limestone soils with a warm exposure, all of which allows a deep ripening of the grapes. This Vacqueyras opens with crushed red berries, creme de cassis, anise, fig paste and a dusting of peppery spices with a soft tannic structure and a mouth filling roundness adding sweet dried flowers, chalky stone and a mocha note.

This luxurious wine is all from organic grapes with mainly Grenache being used here at L’Oiselet along with small portions of Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault usually which are all fermented together in tank. I’ve always enjoyed Gigondas and Vacqueyras and think, especially Vacqueyras, they are wonderfully complex and expressive wines that are great values, with this L’Oiselet 2016 being a poster child for this point. This full bodied wine, coming in at 14.5% natural alcohol, is best enjoyed with robust cuisine and will go great with BBQ and lamb dishes. I look forward to seeing the 2018 and 2019 versions of this wine as well, but as long as this vintage is available it will be hard to resist and I recommend grabbing a few bottles which should go on drinking well for another 3 to 5 years.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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