Domaine l’Ancienne Ecole’s Vinsobres is a magical wine made from equal amounts of Syrah and Grenache. It’s a relatively new AOC, created in 2006 but the quality of the area should not be underestimated. This is a dark and brooding wine with blackberry fruit, spicy pepper and a fresh violet perfumed edge to the finish. It’s a big fine but cool and elegant to drink.
We spent a great deal of time searching for a Côtes du Rhône we liked and had almost given up when out of the blue Tarquin met a chap called Bill Thorburn in Edinburgh. It turns out Bill’s son, Wilson, and his wife, Anna, own a little estate called Domaine l’Ancienne Ecole just outside Vinsobres. “I’ll get you samples”, insists Bill. Now caution has to be taken here as it’s not uncommon for one of us to meet someone who knows someone who makes wine. It normally ends with a polite email including the words, “they were not right for us” (i.e. they were substandard). Thankfully Wilson and Anna’s wines were tremendous and we are proud to have them on our list. They are now certified organic, unfiltered and use very low levels or added sulphur. Their vineyards are in prime sites on the plateau above Vinsobres. Grenache dominated, the wines have excellent structure and above all are a pleasure to drink.