Côtes du Ventoux
The massive Côtes du Ventoux appellation encompasses over 14,000 acres; it is like a Côtes du Rhône AOC within the southern Rhône. Necessarily, many poor-quality wines are produced as a result of the large size, but there are many diamonds in the rough to be found here. There are about 50 villages in which wines are produced, including the titular Beaumont-du-Ventoux.
Although Côtes du Ventoux's history dates possibly all the way back to the 1st century A.D., the appellation was not created officially until 1973.
Climate and Viticulture
This appellation is so large and ungainly that generalization about its climate is difficult. Both warm and cool areas exist, and all forms of soil are found in the vineyards. The best vineyards are located on limestone hills.
There are four producers of Côtes du Ventoux that have really been able to transcend their appellation, listed below.
- Domaine de Fondrèche: Although pricey at $25, the two cuvées called Nadal and Persia have excellent pedigrees for the appellation, with average ratings of 90 or more.
- Château Pesquie: The Cuvée Terrasses has received ratings over 90, and the Quintessence once received a Robert Parker rating of 93. Both cuvées display powerful, characterful, clear notes of red fruit.
- Château Valcombe: La Sereine is a wine that has a great pedigree in this appellation.
- Domaine Vindemio: This domaine's three cuvées, Amadeus, Imagine, and Regain are all better than average.
Despite the size of the appellation, Côtes du Ventoux has no designated subregions and no major producers use vineyard names.