2010 Mas des Volques "Volcae X" IGP (Previously $19)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
For starters, the Mas des Volques 2010 Vin de Pays Volcae X, a 400-case sleeper of the vintage, is loaded with fruit. It offers sumptuous deep raspberry and black currant aromas and flavors, medium to full body, silky tannins and abundant hedonistic pleasure. Enjoy it over the next 3-4 years.
This is the debut wine from Nicolas Souchon's little side project, using fruit from his family's vineyards in Duché d'Uzès. Nicolas is the young winemaker at Châteauneuf-du-Pape's Clos St. Jean and he made this wine with the help of esteemed oenologist Philippe Cambie. The wine derives its name, Volcae, from the Latin name for the Volques, the first Gallic tribe to make wine in France more than 2,000 years ago. It's a blend of 35% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 30% Carignan from vines between 35 and 60 years old, all farmed biodynamically. It has the deep cherry, currant and raspberry fruit you would expect from the varietals, with tapenade, garrigue, game and toasty oak notes. Full and round, this will stand up to the garlicky lamb, spicy sausages and stinky cheeses. Jeb Dunnuck of the Rhone Report (and now Wine Advocate's new Rhone critic/correspondant) scored the wine 92 points (10/2012).