The Southern Rhône shines with Ventoux, Vaucluse and Gigondas

Apr 25, 2024 | All, International wines | 0 comments

In the heartland of the Southern Rhône, east of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, lie three properties from relatively unassuming appellations that have quietly been making waves in the world of wine.

Wine lovers would do well to seek out these Grenache-based blends from legends Château Pesquié in Ventoux, Domaine des Tours in Vacqueyras, and Domaine Santa Duc in Gigondas. Syrah, Cinsault, Counoise and Mourvèdre are added to the Grenache in varying quantities, resulting in complex, layered reds with great structure and epic drinkability. 

From the visionary Chaudière brothers, the high-altitude Pesquié Terrasses Ventoux Rouge 2021 is ‘outstanding’, says Jeb Dunnuck. The 2021 is chalky and medium-bodied, with delicious depth and density. From Emmanuel Reynaud’s hands comes the rarely seen Tours Vaucluse Rouge 2019. Elegant and more mineral than exotic – with true Tours typicity – it’s particularly fresh and classic for the vintage. 

Finally, from Benjamin Gras, who has taken his family’s wines to a whole new level, the Santa Duc Gigondas Aux Lieux Dits 2020 is a masterpiece in blending. This red is smoky, stony and spicy with lush cherries, violets and great energy – it’s one of my all-time favourites

Check out all of our wines from the Southern Rhône here.

Tasting Notes:

Pesquié Terrasses Ventoux Rouge 2021

‘A rough blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah (there are a few other varieties in there), the 2021 Ventoux Terrasses offers a juicy Grenache nose of ripe red and black berries, peppery herbs, and violets, with some chalky minerality that comes through on the palate. Medium-bodied, lively, and fresh, with good density, it delivers ripe tannins and a great finish. It should easily be an outstanding wine.’ – Jeb Dunnuck, 92/100

Tours Vin de Pays Vaucluse Rouge 2019

‘Emmanuel Reynaud’s blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Counoise and Merlot screams of its Tours terroir. It’s less exotic and more mineral, with its seductive wild side subtly reined in. The fruit is dense and deep, with a bay leaf, hot-rocks-in-the-sun kind of earthy minerality. Buy the Vaucluse Rouge by the case-load – it’s a steal at this price and particularly fresh and classic for the vintage.’ – Jolette Steyn, Wine Cellar

Santa Duc Gigondas Aux Lieux Dits 2020

‘Brilliant ruby. Intensely perfumed, mineral- and spice-driven aromas of ripe red and blue fruit and potpourri show sharp definition; suggestions of woodsmoke and incense build in the glass. Shows outstanding depth as well as energy on the palate, offering powerful raspberry, kirsch and floral pastille flavors and a strong note of exotic spices. It finishes with an alluring sweetness and harmonious tannins that lend shape to a wonderfully long, spice- and floral-accented finish.’ – Josh Raynolds, Vinous, 95-96/100

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