This is a wonderful, wonderful red made from 100% Cabernet Franc, the signature grape variety of the Ramé family in Maison Ventenac. It is very much of the south of France, but has a seriousness about it that really brings very fine Bordeaux to mind.
If you want a broad, juicy, structured and rewarding French red, you've come to the right place.
Made in the same way as they make their amazingly fresh and vibrant "Paul", this wine could hardly be more different. The clue is in the name (you might need some), as this is a vast and intense, structured and powerful red that (if Paul is like the Loire Valley Cabernet Francs) is very much in the mould of the best Cabernet Francs of Bordeaux.
It is packed with black fruit and damson jam, with developing notes of cedar and leather, pepper and wild herbs. It is shiny, silky and absolutely delicious.
The difference between the two top cuvées is the soil - these grapes are grown in deep clayey-limestone soils while Paul's grapes come from ancient sea-bed with white limestone and clay. It mightn't sound very different, but the impact is huge. They age this only in one barrel (!) which is 2000 litres in volume and only lightly toasted if at all. This really only just about wraps the wine with any semblance of oak flavour, because the star here is the flavour and texture of the fruit.
I guess you're thinking about choosing things - the Paul is fresher and brighter, while this Patience is thicker and more brooding. One like the Loire and the other more like Bordeaux. But also neither if those comparisons is quite good enough!
What's it about?
«Je ne n'ai aucune, et c'est bien dommage, cette bouteille en mérite»
"I don't have any, and that's a shame, this bottle deserves it".
Sort of sums up a lot of us I suppose...
This though is from the 2019 vintage and is now drinking beautifully. Not much is available as they barely make more than 2000 bottles a year.
Made with 100% Cabernet Franc and classified as Vin de France, this wine is breaking all the rules as part of the Ramé family's exclusive, instinctive range of micro-cuvees and varietal wines. They've cocked a snoot to the conventional wine institutions with their unclassified French wine which belies their true philosophy of defying the norm in order to get their own version of the best that their land and grapes can produce.
And let's talk about the production process, folks! They're only yielding 30 hectoliters per hectare (which is very small for the south of France!) and fermenting with indigenous yeasts and bio-protection (using non-saccharomyces yeasts to avoid brettanomyces, of course...!).
Fermentation is non-temperature-controlled and reaches a balmy 38 degrees, after which there is a 10-day maceration (skins in contact with the juice) that gently gets more phenolic matter and flavour into the wine; this is followed by malolactic fermentation and a really gentle aging for 3 months in one, single 2000 litre oak barrel.
These guys are really shaking things up. Very few makers in the south of France do it like this, if any at all. In so doing, they preserve amazing freshness and purity of fruit, but also get complexity and depth of texture into the bottle as well. It's a really smart feat
Grape(s): Cabernet Franc
Style: Vibrant, Vegan Friendly, Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Silky, Rich, Profound, Powerful, Organic, Meditation, Juicy, Intense, Full, Fruity, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Broad, Balanced
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Warm Salads, Venison, Veal, Tapas, Steak, Sausages, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Beef, Barbecue