Ventoux has been one of my favorite appellations for many years, and my love for these wines is based not only from the wonderful fruit-driven smells and flavors but also the outrageous values these wines offer. The Perrins La Vieille Ferme is an excellent wine year after year--a wine that you can enjoy with pizza or rack of lamb. And you can usually buy it for $5 to $7 a bottle. Other favorites include Font-Sane's Vieilles Vignes, Altitude 500 and Cuvee des Trois Messes Basses--all selling for less than $10. The latter two are cooperative wines, but there is nothing wrong with that; the coop has the technology and the equipment needed to do justice to grapes coming from what I consider a very fine appellation.
Pesquie's Terrasses is another very good Ventoux that has been marketed much more effectively than the above wines and, as a result, sells for two or three times as much. I buy it when I see it at special pricing. As for this 2011, I liked it better a year or two ago, but it is still a very enjoyable wine. Blueberries, plums and spice with a pleasing black pepper finish.
At the excellent Blackbird restaurant in Chicago, I recently had the chance to try another "premium" Ventoux--Philippe Gimel's St. Jean du Barroux. It sells for upwards of $25 a bottle, and, for that premium, you get a wine that is smoother and more elegant on the palate but decidedly more international and modern in its aroma and flavor profile.