Domaine le Couroulu, Vacqueyras "Cuvee Classique", 2016


The Couroulu is a traditional Southern Rhône blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. There is a reason why these grapes go together so perfectly: Grenache delivers fruit and breadth, Syrah offers freshness and aromatics, and the Mourvèdre provides the wine backbone with its naturally tannic structure. Together, you have a beautifully complete wine.

At Couroulu, it works extremely well. The trick there, aside from hands-off traditional wine-making, is that they have an assortment of terroirs, perfectly suited for each grape. The Grenache, which makes up about 60% of the blend, grows in soils with large pebbles (galets) just like you find in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Meanwhile, cooler slopes are reserved for Syrah and Mourvèdre. This means that the Syrah preserves its freshness, and the Mourvèdre can hang for a long time before it is picked (it is the last grape to be harvested at this estate), allowing its important tannins to ripen and soften.

We love this quote from Jancis's Robinson's Purple Pages so much that we repeat it here:  "Le Couroulu delivers the WOW holy trinity: affordability, availability and dependability....Le Couroulu (the name means curlew in Provençal, as the label suggests) is one of those sweet-spot producers whose wines are a joy to discover."

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