After half a century of wine talk, it's easy to get jaded. One more "Vintage of The Century" or "Top 10 List" or "The Greatest" and it all becomes an audible blur. Then a vintage like 2017 in the Rhone comes along and has you standing on your head trying to believe it. Well, we're believers.
It also helps that we get to feature a wine from one of our favorite producers, Ogier, and especially from a lesser known appellation, Vacqueyras. Etienne Ogier established his negociant business with his sons in 1859. They bought finished wines from small producers, blended them, and sold them under their own name. By 1895, they began producing Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
It wasn't until 1948 that they had their own estate winery and could make wine from their vineyards. It's that kind of dedication we admire most of our producers. As the pecking order goes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is at the top. Then comes Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and Cotes du Rhone. But, when a vintage like 2017 comes along the lines get very blurry.
Last year, we featured their 2017 Cotes du Rhone that most tasters thought was Chateauneuf-du-Pape and it was one-fourth the price. This selection is in similar territory. The blend is equal parts of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre aged in large casks. The blend offers monumental flavors of black cherry and spice with hints of floral notes and anise. Braised goat or lamb shanks would do nicely.