For fans of Chateauneuf du Pape, the 2012 Chateau Valcombe Ventoux Rouge Epicure is a must try wine! A Table Wine Exclusive in Western North Carolina, this hearty red wine is eerily redolent of its more famous neighbor to the west, but it costs a fraction of the price.
2012 Chateau Valcombe Ventoux Rouge Epicure – On sale through Wednesday, December 15th
Regular Price: $21.99/bottle
Sale Price: $19.79/bottle or $17.59/bottle on your solid 6-pack
I recently went to the big city to attend some trade tastings with my favorite importers, and this was easily my top find of the trip. From the portfolio of legendary New York City based importer Neal Rosenthal, I tasted this one at about 10:30 in the morning with Neal’s “right hand man” Jeremy Sells at the Mad Rose warehouse on the outskirts of Brooklyn. We had tasted about 20 other super wines before this one was poured in my glass………I took a sniff, I took a sip, and I immediately knew that this wine would find a new home at Table Wine.
Chateau Valcombe is a small, family run, certified organic estate based in the foothills of Mont Ventoux. Husband and wife Luc and Cendrine Guénard run the show these days, and they work with old vine Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault to make their red wines. The average age of the vines is 50 years old, but some of the Grenache and Carignan were planted 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. These are the same rocky soils you’ll find in Chateauneuf du Pape, and it is these soils combined with the age of the vines that give this wine its unique character.
I almost forgot to mention the vintage! Vintage 2012 was considered a really good one in the Southern Rhone — Wine Spectator rated the vintage 93 points describing the wines as “fine-grained and lengthy, with deliciously ripe flavors; well-balanced and should cellar well.” Chateau Valcombe’s wine has been resting comfortably in the temperature controlled comfort of the Mad Rose warehouse for a couple of years now, and the wine has had time to “relax” and come together. The wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Carignan and fermentation occurs in cement tanks followed by aging in a combination of cement tanks and larger barrels. In the glass it shows a deep, dark color and the bouquet offers up enticing notes of ripe blueberry, blackberry, kirsch, pepper and Provencal herbs. The palate is full bodied and relatively sumptuous, but there is still some firm, yet fine grained tannin present suggesting that this is a wine that will continue to improve if cellared.
Enjoy this robust red wine with fall and winter stews, roasted meats, and root vegetables or cellar for another 5 to 7 years and be rewarded. We only have 5 cases of this impressive red to sell so either stop by the store or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you get some. Cheers, happy drinking, and happy eating in Asheville!
Owner/Operator at Table Wine