Find out who won the regional trophy for under £10. And the winner is...
2009 Côtes du Rhône red, Olivier Ravoire
The economic crisis has brought benefits for some. One example is the roving wine merchant or négociant who is prepared to taste widely and build relationships with domaines that find it hard to sell their wines direct to the public.
Since 2004 Olivier Ravoire has developed his father Roger’s southern French business based in the picturesque Lubéron region, which for many years has centred on Provence rosé.
“We want the wine from the soul of the vigneron,” Roger says in somewhat flowery terms, but the essence is one of trust and taking wines from good, sometimes underestimated vineyards.
Their Côtes du Rhône comes from a Vacqueyras and a Cairanne domaine – from vineyards next to the full appellation land area. The Vacqueyras is an early ripening terroir, so suited to an easy going wine such as Côtes du Rhône.
The Ravoire Côtes du Rhône is made from 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It is concrete vat raised and bottled in the summer after the harvest. It has recently been extended to 100,000 bottles, which allows international sales reach.
“There was lovely ripeness in 2009,” says Olivier Ravoire, “and this helped us to achieve our aim of preserving fruit, and the purity of that fruit, in the wine.” His wine is a forthright, genuine example of Vaucluse Côtes du Rhône, starting with a bright bouquet that takes in a variety of influences such as tobacco and red cherry.
It mixes generosity and freshness, and is suitable for drinking until around 2014, with meat and fowl dishes, even those with soft spices present.
GB £7.99 from
Coe Vintners www.coevintners.com
Grape Passions www.grapepassions.com
Harveys & Sons
+33(0)490 08 76 25
Written by John Livingstone-Learmonth