Wine: La Vielle Ferme Cotes du Ventoux
Grapes: Grenache (50 percent), syrah (20 percent), carignan (15 percent), cinsault (15 percent)
Region: Rhone Valley, France
In the glass: La Vielle Ferme is a dark semi-opaque cherry-red color with light purplish streaks going out into a firm pinkish-red rim definition and high viscosity.
On the nose: There are immediate upfront freshly crushed red and black berry fruits with peppery undertones, stewed cherries, licorice root, earthy minerals, violets and herbs de Provence.
On the palate: La Vielle Ferme is forward with big fruit extraction, spicy black cherry notes, lots of peppery red fruit, a big powerful structure with present, but supple tannins. The midpalate has lovely complexity showing yet more pepper, crushed sloe fruit, elderberry juice, and herbs and faint hints of wood. The finish is solid with hints of raspberry liqueur and spices, and the wine lingers for 20-plus seconds on the palate.
Odds and ends: This interesting blended wine is masterfully made of the most common and popular grape varietals grown in the Rhone Valley in southeastern France. It is made by Francois & Jean-Pierre Perrin, owners of the illustrious Chateau de Beaucastel in the heart of the highly regarded Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation. The price is near unbeatable and delivers a tremendous bang for the buck at less than $7. La Vielle Ferme is a big wine and especially suited for food, so try it with a grilled sirloin that’s either pepper-crusted or has a peppercorn sauce. It should drink well during the next three to five years, and comes packaged under a practical screw-cap, so it is easy to sip over days.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at email@example.com.