2016 Domaine Le Couroulu Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes
This is not a florid, ponderous or super modern Chateauneuf du Pape-wannabe kind of wine, rather it’s a more stylish, old school type of red that emphasizes its copious cool, dark, dusky fruit while being framed by really nice, fresh acidity. Its flavors are set off by a nose that will remind you of the summer Rhone Mistral blowing through a freshly mown hay field: all bramble, Provencal herbs and a whiff of wild fennel and white pepper. It’s sumptuous without the weight (and high alcohol burn) that often comes with it. If there’s a better food wine out there, we’ve not had it, and some peppery, rosemary scented lamb chops right off the grill and a bottle of ‘The Bird’ is one of those can’t-miss combinations that will make your holiday dining complete. Or next year. Or five years from now. I have been jealously guarding my precious last few bottles of 2012, but may open them now that reinforcements, in the form of the 2016, have arrived!