This is a wine I enjoyed regularly during the mid 1980s and early 1990s. I came back to it again and again for its strong fruit quality, rustic charm and (ahem) price. (At 1980s prices, it was always under $5.) The cooperative that makes this wine (the same one that makes Altitude 500 Ventoux I reported on last week) has invested in modern high-tech equipment, and the rustic quality has disappeared since 2005. The fruit quality and decent price remain.
The 2008 vintage is a bit tight and stingy compared to 2007, and this wine is still young. It's a medium ruby color, and the aromas and flavors are still in an early stage of development. The Grenache is a bit shy; the Syrah, a bit primary; and the Cinsault is front and center with its spicy, peppery qualities. Everything is in place, though, and I expect a harmonious, traditional Ventoux to emerge. I'll buy some more and give it a try again in a couple of months.
Cuvee des 3 Messes Basses, both Rouge and Rose, are available at D&W Fresh Markets in southwest Michgian for $8.99. For the extra dollar, I prefer the 2007 Altitude 500 Ventoux, but since I'm a fan of Ventoux, I want some of both.