This is a six-bottle mixed case, containing 2x each of the following wines:
2017 Ventoux Rouge, Domaine La Martinelle
2012 Ventoux ‘L’Argile’, Saint Jean du Barroux
2012 Ventoux ‘Vielles Vignes’, Clos de Trias
This week, we bring you, what in many ways is a spiritual sibling to our previous ‘There’s No Place like Rhône’ mixed cases. The difference is, today we will be taking a deep dive into a range of growers, from a single appellation, historically in the shadow of its headline stealing cousins, Chateauneuf and Gigondas. An appellation, whose name derives from the iconic peak that lords over the Southern Rhône, and that is famed for providing a gruelling finish to the Tour de France. An appellation, who one could argue has seen the greatest transformation of any in the Southern Rhône in the last 20 years or so, thanks to a small group of visionary and experimental winemakers leading a Rhône revolution, with the wine world finally standing up and taking notice. Welcome to our ‘Venerable Ventoux’s Rhône Revolution’ Mixed Case.
Historically dominated by cooperatives, Ventoux garnered a reputation for nothing but light, insipid and cheap wine. However, to completely overlook the appellation would be to do yourself a disservice. Not constrained by strict parameters or a ‘classic’ appellation style, spirited and passionate wine makers have been drawn here over recent years, due to the relatively inexpensive, but high quality and varied mountainous terrain, as well as the creative freedom to experiment and truly express themselves through their wines. The big difference between Ventoux and many of its neighbours just to the west, is the increased altitude and temperature variation between night and day (thanks to the cooling air currents descending from Mount Ventoux each evening). This has the effect of extending the growing season and allowing the grapes to reach incredible levels of phenolic ripeness. This, as well as well the incredibly diverse range of microbial rich soils, is what has been noticed by the handful of growers really pushing the boundaries of what can be done here. Seeing the untapped potential and crafting world class wines, which offer remarkable value. Today we are very excited to help you discover three of the shining stars of this appellation, who are all, in their own ways, redefining Ventoux.
Domaine La Martinelle
Corinna’s 2017 Ventoux Rouge is a little beauty, a harmonious mesh of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Carignan with lovely soft acidity and low to medium tannins. It’s fresh and juicy, with a luscious palate of pure and seductive redcurrant/ berry, a touch of blackcurrant, and spice. There is an attractive whisp of sweetness to the fruit due to the wonderful ripeness. It also has a very mineral accented middle and a long, juicy, subtly herbal finish. Corinna is not aiming for anything too big or that needs years of age to reveal itself, she is aiming for purity and finesse. This is a beautiful wine, with wonderfully fragrant bouquets, seamless elegance and a fruit-driven focus.
Saint Jean du Barroux
The L’Argile is a stunning blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Carignan and 5% Cinsault, all of which were aged two years in concrete tanks. The 2012 L'Argile has a perfumed bouquet of white pepper, rose petals, kirsch, sweet black raspberries, liquorice and pine that gives way to a medium to full-bodied, elegant, seamless profile on the palate. The tannins are harmoniously integrated, it is silky and delicious, and it has fabulous length on the finish as well.
Clos de Trias
The 2012 Ventoux Vielles Vignes is an intensely coloured, extraordinarily expressive red wine delivering a juicy, full and rich mouth-feel with lots of satisfying complexity. Cultivated in high PH rich Triassic limestone soils, very much like those found in Chablis, and aged for 6 years in small old barriques, this wine is (unbelievably) remarkably alive. It is energetic, rich, fragrant, intense and beautifully complex. It has plenty of deep ripe red fruits, black plums, liquorice, black olives, grilled meats, eucalyptus and spices on nose and palate. Incredibly unique, in that despite its complexity and density, it is in no way heavy. It is medium bodied, with smooth, harmoniously integrated tannins, a wonderfully refreshing saline minerality and a sublimely long finish. It is very suited to red meat with Provencal herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage). Produced very naturally and with absolutely minimal usage of sulfur, this wine would benefit from decanting up to an hour before serving if possible. It may require a bit of effort and forethought, but oh my is it worth it!