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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quickly becomming my favorite source of the finest values in Rhone wines.

Pesquie, Ventoux des Terrasses '04

When I envision Eric Solomon traipsing through the backwoods of the Rhone valley, I can’t decide whether I see him as a blood hound in search of garrigue or more of a magician; turning all that he touches to gold. The '04 Terrasses, perhaps the biggest bargain in all of Rhone-styled wines from France, checks in at 70% Grenache & 30% Syrah, w/ smoky scents of crushed plum, iron, grilled steak and wild herb essence setting the stage for a mouthful of goodies. The palate serves up juicy, brambly flavors awash in a supple, round texture that finishes strong, oozing Provencal bliss. Just like Solomon’s comparably priced Domaine de la Garrigue Cuvee Romaine, Pesquie continues to redefine what Q.P.R. is all about. If Pegau made a top Ventoux cuvee I'd imagine it would taste just like this from a stylistic perspective, 90 points.

This is just one example in the long line of Eric Solomon’s portfolio of values that have emerged from places like the backwater Ventoux region. While some of you have already jumped on the Pesquie bandwagon long ago, in general, I still wonder if Ventoux has been painted w/ a stigma-tipped brush. Has the enveloping grasp of the ho-hum Vieille Ferme stained the appellation? Is its perception too obscure to distinguish itself from generic Cotes du Rhone? Or is this just another case of the Grenache blues? Either way, if you are a Rhone lover that has yet to bathe in Ventoux colored waters, I highly recommend that you grab a recent vintage (and don’t worry about the economy, this trip to the piggy bank is about as intimidating as the color pink). If you venture a bit deeper into the woods of Provence (or Luberon for that matter), instead of looking for a flashy label on the front of the bottle, turn it around & check the importer. If you see Solomon’s name, throw it in the shopping cart and don’t be afraid to pop those corks early, and often.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad -

Digging the 2005 Quintessence. have you tried the upper-end Artemia? Worth the extra fare?

Nice write-up, BTW.

Robert from ebob

Thursday, January 15, 2009  
Blogger Brad Coelho said...

Hey Rob! Good to hear from you. You know I haven't been able to track down the Artemia yet...but I will toss up a note the second I can snag a bottle. Did you try the Garrigue '07 yet? May displace the Saint Cosme in the QPR championship?!

Friday, January 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite Tampa FL retailer just got in the Garrigue. I'll order a case today, on faith. Figured if you and the other boys rave about it, odds are it rocks.

You guys are lucky to live in NY where variety is everywhere. We have 15+ wine stores in Orlando FL, including some really good ones, but the rhone selection is pathetic. I usually have to order from out of town. Orlando is basically a Cab-Char town! Ugh.

Thanks for the recs.


Saturday, January 17, 2009  

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