Domaine La Garrigue - Vacqueyras From the very first sight of the Domaine’s windswept vineyard on the Vaucluse plateau, to the snarling dog that guards the cellar door, to the old combat boot toting auntie that bottles and labels the wine, to the stocky, plain-speaking proprietor, Domaine La Garrigue recalls the quintessential Provence: rugged, beautiful landscapes and honest, unpretentious people. The Bernard family, proprietors of both Domaine La Garrigue and the excellent restaurant "Les Florets" in Gigondas, are a generous, honest, and hardy lot. It should then come as no surprise that their wines reflect their nature and character offering the consumer some of the most affordable and pleasurable drinking in Provence. Producing chunky, flamboyant, all natural wines, Domaine La Garrigue is indeed one of our favorite producers of Rhone wines: Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Cotes du Rhone in particular. This Domaine is one of the largest estates in Vacqueyras, a distinctive red wine as well as a beautiful Provencal village that looks like it stepped out of a Marcel Pagnol novel. Domaine La Garrigue produces a fine Vacqueyras; a serious red with a penchant for aging. With a few years in bottle, it evolves from a lusty, herb-tinged red into a plush, aromatic and flamboyant wine of distinction. Likewise, the Domaine’s Gigondas is another formidable red; it is pure, rich and laden with both personality and character. Unfortunately, La Garrigue’s small production of Gigondas is rarely seen outside of the winery or the family’s renowned Gigondas restaurant; "c’est dommage". The other fine coup from this estate is the winery’s excellent Cote du Rhone, labeled Cuvee Romaine after the myriad of Roman artifacts that were excavated by archeologists on the property in the late 1970's and the early 1980's. Cuvee Romaine is a veritable bargain; originating in the village of Vacqueyras, it is a combination of old vines, Grenache and Syrah. The estate produces no white wine. However, a little Provencal rose is said to be produced at Domaine La Garrigue. Domaine La Garrigue takes its name from the wild herbe de Provence and ground cover of Provence called Garrigue, a common scent often detected in the region’s better wines, including Domaine La Garrigue’s Vacqueyras. How we love Domaine La Garrigue. The estate’s wines taste like wine, not like the insipid laboratory, homogenized beverages that so many commercial wineries try to foist on the wine consuming public. Like it or not, this is the real McCoy. All of the Domaine’s wines are bottled un-filtered, retaining the natural flavors of the region’s soil and climate.