You know it is an "Obscure Wine Region" when information is sparse. Looking for details on the appellation of Vinsobres in the Côtes du Rhône I checked my trusty "The Oxford Companion to Wine" and found one short paragraph, while my other wine book simply mentions it in a list of Côtes du Rhône Cru villages. Not surprising, as the village of Vinsobres was first rewarded appellation status in 2005 and annual production is a small 26,000 hectolitres. Vinsobres is like most of the villages in the Côtes du Rhône, with the wines (only reds from this appellation) made from Grenache (min. 50%) and Syrah and/or Mourvedre 25%, with other varieties (mainly Carignan and Cinsault) allowed up to 25% maximum.
This village is amongst the most northerly villages in the Côtes du Rhône, and this seems to come through in tonight's wine, the 2005 Jerome Quiot Vinsobres rouge. Fashioned from Grenache and Shiraz, it was a stark, brooding wine - lighter-bodied but with dark, meaty/leathery notes, I was thinking southwest France - maybe a good dose of Carignan (I did not read up on Vinsobres before I drank the wine) - but it also reminded me of some Northern Rhône offerings. A pleasing finish, nice balance, no jam here. Very enjoyable but not as complex as the Rhône wines from top appellations. No surprise I liked this so, as the Quiot family also owns the Vieux Lazaret that I have been raving about (1,2,3). No scoring, just drinking tonight, but probably 16.5-17 points here.
cork. 14% alcohol
Price: C$20 (SAQ)