Grenache, Syrah, Carignan
- If you’re looking to slowly step into France, but aren’t sure where to start, wines from Ventoux might be right up your alley! I speak to a great number of people who tell me that when they buy red wine from France, it’s always so earthy, tannic and dry.
The bonus with wines from Ventoux is they tend to skew a little more juicy/jammy, certainly more than their neighboring Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape regions, which can sometimes be so heavy that they rip out your palate and leave it for dead.
- The roots of the Avrils (the winemaking family behind Domaine Juliette Avril) run deep in the Rhone. They happen to be one of the oldest families in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region. Their ancestry dates back to 1756 and were some of the first founders of the original AOC (Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée) regulations in France, the rules by which all the major French wine regions are governed by.
I feel great envy anytime I read something like this. I’ve done a little of my own research into my family history…and you know what I came up with? Bugger all! Seriously. Nothing! Us Chisletts don’t have nothing cool to our name! I’m working on it though… :)
- The Juliette Avril estate is a family-owned property consisting of 30 hectares of vineyard land. 22 of these hectares are located in Châteauneuf du Pape, 6 hectares are in Ventoux and 2 hectares in Vin de Pays de Vaucluse.
- Grenache, Syrah and Carignan are traditionally the blend of grapes used for the wines of Cotes du Ventoux. The maximum permitted amount of Carignan is set at 30% of the blend, by the rules of the AOC. Why is that? Well, I honestly have no idea. I can’t know ALL the answers!!!
- In 1988, Marie Lucile Brun took over the management of the winery from her mother, Juliette Avril.
- The Cotes du Ventoux region (renamed to just “Ventoux” in ‘08) consists of 7,700 hectares (just under 30 square miles) in the south-eastern part of the Rhone valley.
- Ventoux takes its name from Mont Ventoux, the 6,500-ft high mountain which dominates the landscape of the region.
- Over half of all the vines in the Domaine Juliette Avril vineyard are over 50 years old.
- Historically the region has been known for producing mainly red table wines, although a great number of fruit orchards (primarily cherries) are also scattered throughout the region.
Bursting with red fruit on the nose, the Domaine Juliette Avril gets a little heavier on the palate….but not too heavy. The Syrah adds some power, pepper and blackcurrant, but the wine is dominated by the jammy red fruit from the Grenache. There’s also a little smoke, anise, and nutmeg in there to add some extra layers of complexity. Lingers on the finish, but doesn’t dry out the palate. As I said, perfect for newbie French wine drinkers.
Highly versatile from a food pairing perspective. Red sauce pastas, pizza, burgers, ribs, red meat in any form, smoked meats, and sausage would all go great with the Avril.