Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cuvee des Trois Messes Basses Ventoux, 2009

Oh, yes! Now this wine has the Carignane qualities I was looking for (and failed to find) in the Domaine de Fabregues. Carignane is 30% of the blend along with 50% Grenache and 20% Syrah.

Still a youthful 2009, Cuvee des Trois Messes Basses has a medium to light crimson color. I expect the color (as well as the aromas and flavors) to deepen and fill out over the next year or two. The spicy Carignane gives this wine a raciness that distinguishes it from Altitude 500, another excellent Ventoux produced by the same cooperative--Vignerons de Mont Ventoux. Earthy, citrusy spice of Carignane plus peppery strawberry spice of Grenache--a great combination. Carignane adds a lemon peel quality, a pleasantly bitter twist to the ripe Grenache flavors. Light on the tongue but not at all trivial or simple. Still very young, fresh and lively; you can almost smell the yeast. And an excellent match for a thick Tuscan stew. At $8.99, this wine is a dollar cheaper than the Altitude 500. I'll take a case of each, please.

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