Friday, February 8, 2013

Vignerons du Mont Ventoux Altitude 500 Ventoux, 2007

In writing about the 2011 Chateau Pesquie La Terrasse Ventoux, David Russo of G.B. Russo & Son of Grand Rapids, Michigan, says that Ventoux "drinks like a fuller bodied version of Pinot Noir." I like the comparison. And I particularly like the fact that Ventoux generally sells at a discount to the market while Pinot sells at a premium. Compared to red Burgundy or the best West Coast Pinot Noirs, Pesquie La Terrasses (at $12.99) is a great bargain. Compared to Pesquie, Altitude 500 (produced by the cooperative at Bedoin in Ventoux) is an even greater bargain, generally selling for about $8 to $10 a bottle.

Medium deep ruby. Oh, this wine is really blossoming. Lots of pepper and spice, but with the emphasis on spice. Juniper berries, lavender and also some black pepper and tobacco. Very fragrant. On the palate, yes, as silky smooth as a good Pinot Noir. Fruity but not flimsy. Full bodied elegance.

I've tried the 2009 Altitude 500 and was not so impressed. But then the wine may need a year or so to show its best. I know that I've been a critic of the 2007 vintage in the Southern Rhone, but mostly because of the excess hype. For Ventoux wines and lesser Cotes du Rhones, it is definitely an outstanding vintage.

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