‘Ventoux’ refers to a grand mountain found in Provence in southern France that marks the divide between the Rhone and Provence regions. Vineyard sites surround the lower hillsides and produce wonderful blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.
This blend of 80% grenache and 20% syrah from the Paul Jaboulet Aine label offers an enticing crimson color with hints of brick red along the sides of your glass. Aromas of red berries, forest underbrush, and garrigue rise from the glass. Tart red fruit flavors abound along with more earthy elements of wet stone. The finish carries just a touch of spice and licorice. Try this red with game meats, barbecued dishes, duck, sausage, salami, and hard, sharp cheeses.
The DeRose vineyards are situated in the little-known Ciniega Valley, part of California’s Central Coast wine appellation and directly on the San Andreas fault. This creates a split geologic profile, where the soil from one side contains limestone and the other sandstone. This zin is sourced from vineyards with both characteristics and vines well over a century old. Old vines tend to produce less fruit, so more of the good stuff goes into each grape.
The wine is brimming over with big berry-cherry jamminess, but give it a few moments and it displays some underlying vanilla and black pepper. It is on the medium-body side of the zin spectrum, which still makes it heavy by many other grapes’ standards. An ideal accompaniment to the heartiest Italian fair. $22.99
The ruby-hued Hawthorn Pinot Noir pulls you in with an enticing stewed strawberry nose. This pinot noir is a product of Willamette Valley, Oregon, which has become a celebrated appellation for that variety. Pinot noir is a cool climate loving grape, and Willamette’s mellow temperament doesn’t disappoint it -- the appellation is world famous for excellent expressions of a grape that can be very delicate to work with.
Along with overtones of cooked fruit and rhubarb, the palate displays subtler notes of the grape’s typical earthiness. This wine, like many pinots, is fun to explore on its own, but can be further enjoyed with roast duck or lamb. $18.00
"Established in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards produces classically proportioned, expressive wines that embody their history and distinct place of origin.
Pine Ridge founder Gary Andrus, inspired by the illustrious wines of Bordeaux, believed in the Napa Valley's potential to produce wines of similar stature. He planted the property's original namesake vineyard on a steeply terraced hillside flanked by a dramatic ridgeline of pine trees in the Stags Leap District."
This bold Napa Valley Cabernet delivers complex aromas of opulent dark fruit such as cassis, ripe plum, and blackberry liqeuer. The palate echoes the seductivess of the nose with earthy
elements of cedar box, minty chocolate, and mocha. Lush tannins deliver a textured, mouthcoating finish of roasted espresso and black cherry. This wine can easily add another 8 to 10 years of aging.
The 2009 vintage received 90 points from the Wine Advocate