When I bought this Rhône, I did so for a few reasons, the most prevalant was my sure belief that no Rhône worth it’s weight could be priced sub $20 in Ontario. If we see a red from France in the 15 to 20 range, odds are it is 5 to 9 euros if you can find it in Europe (which of course makes me die a little inside) and while in small shops overseas that price range can allow for a nice find or two, here, that is seldom the case. Still, with $20 to burn and some time on my hands I went forth and purchased this syrah-grenache blend and hoped for the best. Côtes du Ventoux AOC is a southern Rhône region and the Vignerons du Mont Ventoux is one of the larger producers here. I think I have, in the past blogged enough about my fondness of the southern Rhône reds so instead of linking to more information I will refer you back to the side bar where there are some wines already review there. So, instead, I will say let’s move on to the tasting!
With a severe shortage of space (well to be honest, no space at all) I decided that this was one of our wines of the week. What made me decide this was a belief (despite the LCBO’s blurb) that a Grenache-Syrah of mid to lower tier was simply not designed to be cellared, so why take up valuable space? I am not sure many wine-makers aim a wine of this range to be pulled 20 years down the road with an ambitious grin, with that belief the cork was withdrawn and Mrs CWG decanted through the strainer funnel (you never know, do you). The crimson red had a slight hint of that rust colour I love so much. The nose gave raspberry and spice and actually seemed dull. It did not help that the previous night’s wine was literally one of the best wines of the year for us, thus raising the bar. None the less, we dove in with the passion that only a wine lover can exhibit. The tannins are larger than expected yet the wine is still balanced, simply large from start to finish. As we got deeper into the wine we noticed more of a red licorice/ candied flavour, not unexpected as the raspberry turned to more of a jam-like taste. The spice remained and evolved to more of a black pepper. Overall we found the wine grew on us. First impressions were not accurate, this is actually a well balanced and well crafted bottle. Pleasantly we ended up thinking this was of good value and will end up recommending it accordingly. Not a ‘Pape but then again, half the price, enjoy accordingly!
The CWG Subjective Rating (CSR?) is 87 out of 100.
Mrs CWG says
this grows on you, quite enjoyable, just do not put it side by side with a great Burgundy!