I usually think of La Vieille Ferme as a wine to drink within the year of its release, but this 2004--a left over from a string of attractive vintages--changed my thinking. It's drinking beautifully, at least as good as when it was young.
The color is a deep ruby with good brightness and clarity, and the first sniff from the glass is brimming with fresh blueberries, violets and herbs. I sense no come-down in freshness from the 2006 Font-Sane next to it; in fact, La Vieille Ferme is more open and aromatic at this stage in its development. It has everything I expect from a Ventoux with ripe fruit-forward flavors but also a firm tannic structure. On the finish, it lacks the deep red raspberry core that the Font-Sane offers, but that's no insult. The Font-Sane is special; LVF is a worthy match, and I'm looking forward to the 2007s from both estates. Actually, LVF arrived a few weeks ago and is widely available for $6 to $8--probably the best wine value in the market today.