Celebrate Rhône Wine Week With This Sleek, Succulent Red

This WARMING WINE will suit the dropping temperatures this week, says wine editor MARY DOWEY


Château Pesquié Terrasses Ventoux 2015

The warming, spicy reds of the Southern Rhône have always gone down well in Ireland, perhaps as the perfect antidote to our damp, bone-chilling climate. Within this vast area – one that I know pretty well – Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas are the best known wine appellations, but the one that intrigues me most is much less famous Ventoux. And in Ventoux, the flagship estate is Château Pesquié.

I’ve visited this ambitious, carefully tended family property several times, always coming away impressed by the quality of its wines and the potential of Ventoux as a whole. Mont Ventoux, the mountain that tortures Tour de France cyclists, acts like a massive cooling block, slowing down grape ripening across the region. The result is that Ventoux wines are stamped with fresher flavours than those from warmer zones – especially the jammy Côtes du Rhône produced in the torrid heat of the valley floor. And, as the appellation isn’t yet well known, the best offer outstanding value.

Terrasses is one of the most likeable, reliable southern French reds on the Irish market at under €20. Smooth-textured and succulent, it combines notes of blackberry, raspberry, liquorice, black pepper and spice with a flourish of fine tannins. It’s a versatile food partner too, suiting everything from roast chicken, pork or beef to winter vegetable bakes or even cheese on toast.

Cindy Albero from Château Pesquié has been in Ireland for the past few days to take part in Rhône Wine Week, a fantastic annual event celebrating the diverse styles of the Rhône Valley north and south. You may just be in time to snag one of the last tickets for the final two dinners this evening, Friday November 10 – one with Cindy showcasing the Pesquié wines at O’Connells’ restaurant in Donnybrook, Dublin 4; the other with Etienne Defosse of respected Northern Rhône company Delas Frères at the Imperial Hotel in Cork. Phone the restaurants post haste to find out.

Another thing to bear in mind: Rhône reds go splendidly with Christmas food.

Alcohol: 14%

From Searsons, Monkstown & www.searsons.com; Lilac Wines, Dublin 3; Donnybrook Fair & Baggot Street Wines, Dublin 4; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock; Ardkeen, Waterford, around €18.95.


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