Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tour de France: a Provençal Taste of Ventoux Wines

This charming aside to the Tour de France race is courtesy of my friend, San Francisco-based French wine importer, teacher, and enthusiast (and all-around great guy) Raphael Knapp! Enjoy! -- mac

When the Tour de France climbed the famed Mont Ventoux...
... it gives us the chance to talk about a Provençal taste of Ventoux wines!..

Etape 20 - Profil

Mont Ventoux, located in the Vaucluse department, is one of the most famous mountains in France (2,000 m, 6300 ft). It marks the gate between Rhône and Provence. The weather in Côtes du Ventoux is very hot in the summer but cold in the winter.. and windy with the "mistral" blowing almost all the time! The poor clayey-chalky soils of Côtes du Ventoux stress the vines giving fruity & complex wines, easy to drink & to appreciate. The following wines are made of grapes harvested on the southern slope of the Mont Ventoux and vinified by "Les Vignerons du Mont Ventoux" around the small provençal village of Bedoin.. the starting point of one of the two routes to the summit of the mountain!

'08 Demoiselles Coiffees Rose, Cotes du Ventoux
(50% Grenache, 30% Carignan, 20% Cinsault) tasting note
This wine's name reminds of a site in Bédoin were can be found natural columns sculpted by the erosion and topped by a granite rock named Demoiselles Coiffées.
Clean fruity and floral bouquet with hint of acid drop when aerated. Crisp mouth, supple and light, with expressive perfumes of red fruits. Great with Summer salads, white meat and seafood such as sardines in oil, marinated anchovies... or simply with olives, or small pieces of toast piled with tapenade or tarama (a paste of fish eggs, olive oil and lemon juice).
Price: 108/case (9/b) - 8.10 by the glass or on 3 case-mix!

'07 "O" Rose, Cotes de Ventoux
(60% Grenache, 20% Carignan, 10% Cinsault, 10% Syrah) tasting note
Rich and concentrated, this rosé offers complex aromas of baking spices with hints of roses, raspberry and cherry flavors and lots of minerality on the palate. Summer salads, white meat (ham, chicken, pigs feet) and seafood: seared scallops, grilled salmon with a barbecue teriyaki glaze, grilled shrimp, grilled calamari, barbecued oysters.
Price: 126/case (10.50/b) - 9.45 by the glass or on 3 case-mix!

'06 Dom Balaquere, Cotes du Ventoux
(80% Syrah, 20% Grenache) tasting note
It is a very dark and mellow wine, with a deep red color, aromas of blackberries and peppers with a warm and rather "bold" finish. It pairs extremely well with slightly heavy dishes such as grilled meat and all types of game. Strong cheeses are also fine companions.
Price: 120/case (10/b) - 9 by the glass or on 3 case-mix!

'05 Gigantis, Cotes du Ventoux

(50 % Syrah, 50 % Grenache) tasting note
This wine shows that the Ventoux terroir can produce outstanding wines. The name Gigantis was inspired by the facts the Mont Ventoux is also known as the "Giant-of-Provence" and that this wine is a deep, huge, extracted, "gigantic" Côtes du Ventoux. A world-acclaimed Rhone Valley winemaker specializing in oak-barrel-ageing, Michel Tardieu, was brought on board for the project. Deep purple-ruby robe almost inky. On the nose, aromas of olive, pepper and coffee combined with the fruity dominant characteristic -black cherry, jammed raspberry – with, in gusts, hints of Provençal herbs. A scented and powerful wine with an opulent finish. The great balance between tannins and acidity will help this wine age for may years.
Price: 288
/case (24/b) - special 10% off this price

.. please contact..

Raphael Knapp (or simply reply to this message)
415.297.9673 (cell)

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