Gabriel Meffre ‘St Barthélémy’ Vacqueyras 2018
Grape Varietals: A blend of Grenache & Syrah
Growing Region: Vacqueyras, Rhône Valley - France
Head Winemaker: Véronique Torcolacci
In 2018 I had the pleasure to spend a few days with the team at Gabriel Meffre in the Rhône Valley - France. This estate has an intwined history with the region, being founded in 1936. During my visit I had the opportunity to taste earlier vintages of this wine, along with a comprehensive tasting of their full range, which is substantial in number and expressions. It was a pleasure to spend time with Véronique, who not only crafted this wine, but has an incredible knowledge of the region, the soils and traditional varietals which cling to the sides of this rugged and mountainous area.
As you drive through the area, standing guard at the top of the village is the church of Vacqueyras - so named after the apostle Bartholomew. I had the opportunity to visit their picture-postcard vineyards that were used for this wine, from 35-40 year old vines (with some new plantings in-between) growing in an ancient mix of clay, limestone soils. The natural bush vines grow in a Mediterranean climate, which are significantly influenced by the dry Mistral wind that is key to their varietal character and balance. The different harvested parcels were fermented separately, with the Grenache and Syrah components having around 3 weeks fermentation at controlled temperatures. The wine was racked in vats and after going through malolactic fermentation aged in vats for 8-10 months before bottling, where it rested for at least another 6 months before release.
★ This wine has an inviting aromas of dark cherries, red plums, allspice, subtle Provençal herbs, white pepper, tea leaves and a hint of cigar tobacco. On the palate this is a medium weight wine and a seamless blend of Grenache and Syrah showcasing juicy dark cherries, ripe plums, wild boysenberries, forest truffles, liquorice and a note of dried spices. All of these approachable characters are gently wrapped in smooth tannins and nicely integrated smoky oak and kept honest by well-balanced fruit acidity, leading you to a relaxed classic dry finish.
This 2018 Gabriel Meffre ‘Saint-Barthélémy’ Vacqueyras has 14.5% Alc./vol. Classic dry style. Mild decanting 15-20 minutes and serve in an appropriately shaped wine glass at 16°- 17°C. *NZ$49.00
CELLARING POTENTIAL: *(Review 17/2/23)
With mild decanting, drinking well this season; plus will age nicely for another 4 - 5 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with mild red meats, rabbit, slow roasted pork & lamb loin, mushroom pasta & pizza, varied tapas’, earthy vegetarian cuisine and mild to hard cheeses - enjoy.