New wines from Maison Ventenac
I've added 5 new wines to our most popular range, the 'Dissidents' from Maison Ventenac, bringing the total to 16 different wines.
Les Dissidents (the dissenters) come from the Ramé family in Cabardès, just north of Carcassonne, in the (fairly wild) west of the Languedoc.
I love the up front and no nonsense messaging on the Dissidents labels, reflecting the Ramé family's approach in pushing boundaries to express their interpretation of the land, while having a little fun along the way.
1. L'Intrus (The Intruder)
It may have seemed like a funny idea to plant Cabernet Franc where they did, the wrong grape in the wrong place, but they felt the influence of the Atlantic in their vineyards, and believed that the grape could deliver freshness, elegance and vivacity. Which it does, in spades!
2. La Muse
"What am I going to do with this Syrah?" asks Olivier Ramé on the front of this bottle.
Well, I for one think that this was probably rhetorical, as the decision to make this fragrant and floral wine seems inevitable, given the quality of the fruit that has gone into it. The wine is delicious!
Made from 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc, this is a proper homage to the climatic influence they feel from Bordeaux.
However, this is no Bordeaux-copy, rather it is the essence of a terroir and an expression of Cabernet Sauvignon to be as sooth as possible and in a manner that is as natural as possible - this is natural wine, with no additional sulphur and a fermentation carried out using only indigenous yeasts.
4. Réserve de Georges
Another ancestor, another wine...that's the Ramé way, it would seem; this time it is Georges who is honoured and, in this instance, a different version of the two wine cultures that influence the Cabardès: Bordeaux and Languedoc. A blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a seriously tasty wine! Very moreish and brilliantly balanced, with a huge array of flavour.
5. Le Bâtard, Arvine
One of the top white wines made by the Ramé family, this is a real treat for anyone interested in good French whites, interesting grape varieties, and excellent winemaking. Unusual, but that's the whole point of Les Dissidents. In this case, a Swiss grape variety made in Italian terracotta amphorae in the south of France - hence the name.