This is a Merlot that could challenge your thoughts about Merlot!
Certainly, it was made for Stephanie the co-owner of the estate, who's stated dislike for Merlot was in some part the instigation for this wine's production. She loves it!
Soft and juicy with ripe, red berry and plum flavours and notes of chocolate orange on the finish. Not perhaps a grape of the region, but a style that is unmistakably from the South of France.
Maison Ventenac is a young and dynamic project based in the vineyards of the Ramé family in Cabardès, north of the city of Carcassonne, at the (fairly wild) west of the Languedoc. Characterised by the split in place between Atlantic and Mediterranean bodies of water, their vineyards are likewise split between the Atlantic (Cabernets, Merlot and Malbec) and the Mediterranean (Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvedre). Limestone forms the sub-soil in the best parts of the family's vineyards, together with their dense planting of vines and the relatively wet winters in the region, there is a real sense of excitement for the future of the region.
In organic conversion, the rewards for this winery are only beginning to be seen. What we really like about them though is their honesty - they love all that they do, but what they like most is Cabernet Franc - certainly not a Mediterranean grape and the third grape of the Atlantic, this variety seems to really blossom in the hands of the Ramé family.
This sense of discovery, as seen in this finding of Cabernet Franc's place in their vineyards, is present in all they do, from respect to terroir, to the non-use of chemical sprays, to admitting their own prejudices, to celebrating underdog varieties - it's clearly a key part of their success.
Style: Smooth, Organic, Medium Bodied, Fruity, Complex
Best food matches: Red Meats, Poultry, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Cheeses, Charcuterie