After Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the Rhone village of Vacqueyras produces my favorite wines of the region. And while great C-d-P may take years to be ready to drink, the wines of Vacqueyras can be drunk on the younger side. This example of "vieilles vignes" aka "old vines" Vacqueyras was brought to me by a trusted supplier who thought I might like it. He was right.
It's important to note there is no legal definition of "old vines" in France (or anywhere really). That said, this is made from 80-110 year old vines, which is pretty amazing when you think about how much the world has changed in the intervening years. These would have been planted during the middle of WWII when France was under German occupation.
This is a minerally style that is a classic example of Vacqueyras. Notes of licorish, sweet black and red cherries, minerals, plums, and chocolate stand out. I actually think you could cellar this for a few years for improvement, but it's already pretty compelling.
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. Serve cool with decant.