Promoted to full AOC status in 1990 (having started life as a humble Côtes du Rhône 'villages'), Vacqueyras sits in the shadow of the Dentelles de Montmirail some 15 kilometres due east of Orange and a stone's throw from Gigondas. The Grenache-based wines of both these appellations are often described as being somewhere between generic Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape in style and quality.
Yvès Chéron's 'Pascal Frères' négociant enterprise, located in Vacqueyras, is a dependable source of robust, red Grenache-based blends finessed with Syrah and Mourvèdre. We have been listing his Vacqueyras 'Cuvée Speciale' for over 30 years and it has gained a loyal following, not least because it is released with a spot of beneficial bottle age. Readily approachable from the off, it cellars well for 3-5 years. We are also glad to receive an allocation of Yvès' flagship 'Grand Montmirail' Vacqueyras from his personal vine holdings. It is packed with dense, briary garrigue berry fruit and will make a fine foil to southern dishes such as a gigot d'agneau generously studded with garlic and rosemary.