Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Domaine Olivier B. Ventoux Les Amidyves, 2011

Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste was quite enthusiastic about this wine. And since Ventoux is a long-time favorite appellation of mine, I was quick to buy...but may not be the next time around. Although it has some impressive traits, Les Amidyves does not fit what I look for in a Ventoux wine.

Probably the classic Ventoux wine, for me, is the the Perrin Family's La Vieille Ferme, one of the least expensive and most enjoyable wines on the market. I have been enjoying it since the early 1980s. Year after year, it is boldly fruity and expressive with the traditional spice and pepper of the Southern Rhone in pleasing proportions. And, of course, the price is hard to resist--still $6 to $8 a bottle. For a few dollars more a bottle, I frequently enjoy Domaine de Font-Sane Vieilles Vignes and a couple of cooperative wines brought in by J&R Importers: Altitude 500 and Cuvee Les Trois Messes Basses. Chateau Pesquie La Terrasses is another fine example, although usually selling for about $15--more than I care to pay for a Ventoux. All are excellent wines produced in a style that is similar to that established by La Vieilles Ferme. How does Olivier B's Ventoux fit this profile?

The wine is very dark and dense--much darker than any of the above. Aromas and flavors are prune-like, dark fruit compared to the fresh red berries of the traditional Ventoux. Very powerful and muscular--too much so for my taste. Is this Ventoux trying to become a Gigondas? I find plenty of pepper, which I like in a Southern Rhone. But, by the second night, it becomes overwhelming. I think it's more about the high alcohol than the natural pepper from the Grenache/Syrah fruit. 15% alcohol for a Ventoux?

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