Maison Ventenac, Le Paria
The pariah in this particular case is a grape variety, which for many years had been treated as unworthy of making red wines, fit only for rosé. Considered to be planted in the wrong places, or not performing well enough without significant work, the Ramé family have turned this into a brilliant wine.
It's Grenache all the way as this deep red invites on the nose with raspberries and cured meats (what you find in dry Roussillon Grenaches) and then a mass of amazing pepper flavours on the palate surrounding and permeating the raspberry rather like polka dots on the wall paper.
Cherry and pomegranate develop on the broad and structured palate, which is remarkably not overly alcoholic. Gorgeous!
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.
- Hard Cheeses
- Red Meats
- Medium Full
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