On the Trail

DOMAINE DE VERQUIÈRE

We originally began working with Domaine de Verquiere in the late 1990s, but often as things go, they departed in 2003 for an importer that offered larger distribution.  We remained a fan of the wines and when the opportunity arose to visit with them on a recent Rhone trip, we jumped at the chance to taste through all their new offerings.  What a treat! All the wines delivered on the promise of classic Rhone character with great regional typicity. The estate is managed by brothers Romain and Thibaut Chamfort who continue to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers. Located in the village of Sablet, they continue to move the estate forward in viticulture and vinification being recently certified organic. Their standard Cotes du Rhone is a remarkable entry level wine. Composed of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, it has all the hallmark notes of the Rhone Valley with its briary spicy fruit.  The wine is overt and immediately accessible but still has all the classic structure that keeps this wine focused and on point. The Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet comes from the home vineyards. We drove up to visit the site originally in a Toyota compact which proved treacherous! We managed to make it safely up to about 300 meters and see the beautiful terroir.  The east facing vineyard is in a bowl shaped convex.  It overlooks the hills of Gigondas and is a remarkable site.   The hillside fruit is planted on primarily clay-limestone soils.  It has the higher elevation quality with its more floral, spice box nuances.  The wine has ripe fruit but shows restraint.  It is an elegant Rhone to be sure.  The Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu is located in the scrub filled flatlands below Sablet.  The soil is red clay packed with smooth round pebbles and garrigue is everywhere.  Plan de Dieu means God’s Landscape and it is much warmer in the flats.  The wine shows richer fruit notes with framboise, boysenberry and hoisin flavors.  

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