Lyle Railsback, France+Western Importer: "Sometimes the best things happen by accident. And so it was with reconnecting with Frédérique Vaquer and her delicious, high-elevation Roussillon masterpieces.
Located in the Pyrenees mountain town of Tresserre at 650 feet elevation, from Domaine Vacquer you can see down to Collioure and the Mediterranean sea. The vicious Tramontane wind of the region whips through Frédérique’s garrique-covered vines, including old plantings of Carignan, planted just after WWII en gobelet (bush vines planted close to the ground) and worked without machines, only by hand.
As in Collioure and across the border in Spanish Catalonia, Rancio-style Rivesaltes is the more historical wine of this area, which is often compared to Vin Jaune of the Jura, aging sous voile to protect it from total oxidation. While a small amount of textbook solera Rivesaltes is still made at the Domaine Vaquer, since Frédérique studied in Burgundy she is consequently fixated on terroir-revealing elegant reds and dry, saline whites with a remarkable sense of precision beyond what you'd expect from the region.
Her new releases are brimming with energy, and with our US allocation she has generously agreed to part with some library bottles from her cellar that show the incredible aging potential of her terroir, so we will have several cases of 1985 and 1986 to offer this year. We shared a bottle of her 1985 Rouge at Bistrot Paul Bert in Paris and I would have believed that it was an older Vieux Télégraphe from a great vintage with pristine provenance."
Côtes de Roussillon Blanc
Cuvée Bernard Vaquer
2017 Côtes de Roussillon
2013 Côtes de Roussillon
1986 Côtes de Roussillon
1985 Côtes de Roussillon