We keep coming across these Southern French red wines that cost so little, yet provide so much. Our latest find, from one of our favorite importers Rosenthal, is Chateau Valcombe of the Ventoux. Their Epicure red is a lovely medium-bodied wine, that is very easy to drink while having good structure as well.
There are twenty-eight hectares of vineyards at Chateau Valcombe which is situated at an altitude of 1000 feet and in the shadow of Mont Ventoux. Four red grape varieties (Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault) and four white grape varieties (Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourboulenc) are planted and the average age of the vines is 50 years. Certain parcels of Carignan and Grenache were planted all the way back in 1936. The soils are essentially limestone and are covered with the famous “galets” of that area, large round rocks worn smooth by the movement of the Rhone River. Deep in the subsoil of Valcombe one also finds the unusual blue-inflected clay (“bleu argile”) that helps define the unique characteristics of the wines of Valcombe. The harvest here is exclusively by hand with a strict sorting occurring in the vineyard.
Chateau Valcombe Ventoux Rouge Epicure 2016
Shelf Price $15.99
Sale Price $12.97
Once again, we are the lowest price in the country on this one!
This classic red wine by Valcombe is a blend of Grenache Noir (60%), Carignan (20%), Syrah (10%) and Cinsault (10%). The grapes are destemmed, then are fermented in temperature-controlled cement tanks. After the initial racking the wine ages in a combination of cement tanks and larger barrels (foudres and demi-muids).
The wine is deep garnet-purple in color with aromas of cassis, smoke and forest floor. On the palate, medium to full-bodied with layers of red and black fruit flavors. The acidity is balanced and the tannins subtle.