I keep coming back to this wine. Founded by Jean Pierre Perrin, the owner of renowned Chateauneuf de Pape house Chateau de Beaucastel, this house wine house consistently produces an undervalued, over-producing bottle of juice every year. I’ve reviewed it before, and the 2007 vintage is mighty fine, dear reader – just the thing for a value-driven wine lover who isn’t afraid to wander the dustier aisles of French wine real estate.
Cotes du Ventoux is a tiny little area in the larger Rhone region of France. That’s immaterial unless you just like knowing your geography – because what matters the most about this wine is not its countrified label or its low, low price (under $7, typically), but rather its snazzy one-size-fits-all style.
Comfortable in crystal or in a jelly glass, this wine does not peer at your dinner disapprovingly, or wonder why your friends are drinking Tecate from a can or vodka-and-cokes. Like a faithful golden retriever, this wine is just glad to be with you, alone or in a crowd, dressed to the nines or slumped on the couch with holes in your socks. There’s no judgement in this wine, only Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Carignan – and no more than 30% of any of those, as mandated by French law.
Raspberry/blackberry fruit on the nose, with a spicy/cedar hint around the edges. Palate has lots of acidity, making this one juicy mouthful of red berries and pepper. Just enough tannin, so it clings slightly to the teeth, as if the wine is running its hand along the slats of the banister on its way down the stairs.
But ignore that last paragraph and just drink it! Drink it with gumbo, red beans and rice, turkey-and-cranberry-sauce sandwiches, or gazpacho. Chill it down a little, like you would with a Beaujolais Nouveau, and swig in peace.