I have a jewel of a red wine from the Southern Rhone and I’m excited about it because summer is on the way and heavier red wines are not always fun in the Oklahoma heat. Lou Ven Tou Rouge Blend is aperitif-worthy and food-friendly from the Southern Rhone. The second thing I noticed about this wine after the first pungent sniff were the legs. They were prominent, especially for a wine that smelled so juicy. Juicy and figgy, ripe with raspberries and strawberries, and smokey – best of all, mouth-coating with an intense finish of rich dried cherries that linger to the end. I took it directly from our Wine Keeper at about 55℉ and it was perfect. It was perfect at room temp as well.
The Lou Ven Tou Rouge 2011 is medium-bodied (with a killer finish), luscious blend of organically grown grapes: 84% Grenache, 13% Syrah, 2% Cinsualt and 1% Carignan, with From the label:
This blend is from grapes grown in charming old hillside vineyards on the slopes of Mount Ventoux in Provence a elevations between 400 – 1500 feet. Dominated by Grenache and Syrah with small amounts of Cinsault and Carignan, it’s a complex, aromatic wine with equal parts of richness and elegance.
The Ventoux AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée), previously known as Côtes du Ventoux AOC, was renamed in 2008. The vineyards of the AOC form an arc around Mount Ventoux which is known as the Giant of Provence, near the medieval Provence village of Le Barroux. The Ventoux AOC is the second largest wine producing area in the entire Rhone Valley.
Mount Ventoux, a part of the Alps but dominating other connecting ranges, is an awesome presence in the area. At times snow-capped and looking out over vineyards and huge fields of lavender, and located in the Vaucluse department, it soars to 6273 feet. The word ‘Ventoux’ means ‘windy’ and winter mistrals are a factor – summers are hot, winters are cold.
Lou Ven Tou is imported by Charles Bieler, a New Yorker who gained his creds in the Rhone at Chateau Routas. Today he and Charles Smith at K Vintners have joined in partnership as Charles & Charles Wines. The Oklahoma broker is Thirst Wine Merchants. Thanks to Parkhill’s South Wine Manager, Tyler Mirt, for putting a bottle of Lou Ven Tou in my hand. Price: approximately $11 – $13.
Pronunciation Tips: Don’t worry about accents, say it as you see it.
● Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée: App-eh-lation doh-rigion Control-ee
● Carignan: Care-en-yahn [yahn rhymes with dawn]
● Cinsault: Sawn-sew (sawn rhymes with dawn) (sew as in so)
● Grenache: Greh-nawsh (nawsh rhymes with josh)
● Lou Ven Tou: Loo Vahn Too [vahn rhymes with dawn]
● Rhone: Rown [Rown rhymes with mown]
● Syrah: See-raw [raw rhymes with law]
● Ventoux: Vahn too [vahn rhymes with dawn]
● Côtes du Ventoux: Coat doo Vahn too [coat, like one you wear] [vahn rhymes with dawn]