Wine Wednesday: Vinsobres AOC

By: Cecily G

The region of Vinsobres was first settled by the Romans, known then as Vinzobrio. This name, first recorded in 1137, came from the words vintio (height) and briga (mountain). 1663 brought Joseph’s Marie de Suarès’ famous quote, and the unofficial motto of the region, “Wine sober or sober wine, drink it soberly.” In 1967, Vinsobres became classified as a named village under the Cote du Rhône Villages Aoc, and it wasn’t until 2005 that Vinsobres was granted full AOC status.

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Vinsobres lies in the northern part of the Southern Rhône Valley, about 19 miles northeast of the town of Orange. The region is red wine producing, with key varietals including Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Grenache is required to make up at least half of a wine that is manufactured under the AOC name. Though cooler compared to the more Southern AOCs, the climate in the area is perfect for these varietals, as the Mediterranean hot summers give way to excellent ripening potential. The foothills to the east protect the vineyards of Vinsobres from the cold mistral winds. This being said, the cooler temperatures do have their influence, and may reflect in the flavors and acidity of the wines. The soils here are generally diverse, ranging from very stony to sandy clay.

Because of the more astringent acids and tannins that are characteristic in Vinsobres, these wines guarantee excellent aging. Balanced wines are silky, elegant, round and long. Aromas are fruity, both fresh and cooked, with notes on the palate ranging from cherry and currant to jam, pepper and spice, depending on age.

Three producers to try:

Domaine Constant-Duesnoy

Domaine Jaume

Perrin & Fils

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