When I last opened a bottle of this wine, it was mid-summer [July 24, 2008], and I described it as a perfect wine to drink in the backyard because "it smells like a herb garden surrounded by flowers in bloom." A hummingbird found the deep crimson wine as attractive as I did and considered dive bombing the glass. In late February, at the end of a long, cold winter, Domaine de Font Sane Cotes du Ventoux is equally appealing and a good match for the Asian spices blended so skillfully by Chef John Tsui of Chin Chin Asian restaurant in Mattawan, MI. (The meal was ordered take-away, and the wine was from my cellar rather than the restaurant wine list.)
Most Cotes du Ventoux wines are Cotes du Rhone look-alikes, although the smells and flavors of Ventoux have a unique cool-climate freshness and focus. As a blend of Grenache and Syrah, Font Sane is a bit firmer in the middle and more serious in its ambitions than, say, La Vieille Ferme. The Syrah is showing more strongly tonight than it was last July, and it's very finely delineated cool climate Syrah. Grenache strawberry and Syrah black raspberry--ripe and mouthwatering. An elegant, classy wine tonight with a bit less garrigue than I remember from last summer and a few more Asian spices. The tannins are there for backbone but they let the fruit flow freely. Long, long finish.
The 2006 version of the Font Sane Cotes du Ventoux is now on sale at Village Corner in Ann Arbor for $8.99 to members of the Ann Arbor Wine Club. I just bought my six bottles this afternoon and am looking forward to seeing what the 2006 vintage has in store.