Rhone Ranger from Rhone - Printable Version

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- Innkeeper - 05-21-2000 05:45 PM

Tonight we had a light meal, after having dinner at noon. With crackers and cheese (Brie for mother and goat cheese for moi) we opened La Vielle Ferme's Rhone Valley 1997, Appellation Cotes du Ventoux Controlee. It is a widely available blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre. It cost well below $10.00. What a buy! They've done it again. Would go with a great variety of foods, light and heavy.

- hotwine - 05-21-2000 07:05 PM

You found it! Thought I had gotten away with keeping that one a secret. We keep a modest supply on hand, something less than a case but with one or two large formats for group gatherings. It's very versatile, especially with grilled/smoked beef.
My French disctionaries don't have "ferme" listed, but I'm guessing it's "ewe" from the label art.

- Scoop - 05-22-2000 08:42 AM

The translation is "the old farm".

The white, a mixture of rousanne, ugni blanc and another variety that I forget right now, comes from the Cote du Luberon appellation, and is also a tasty, well-made bargain ($5.49 retail).



- mrdutton - 05-22-2000 09:20 AM

The Vielle Ferme is from AOC Cotes du Ventoux. It is produced by the Perrins from Ch de Beaucastel in Chateauneuf.

The Cotes du Ventoux is located at the bottom of the Mont-Ventoux, a mountain worthy of the name "The Giant of Provence" (1912 m). The Côtes du Ventoux wine-making area extends to the South and West of the mountain. 51 communes are included in the Appellation area, all of them within the limits of the Vaucluse department. It is east of Avignon, its southern border is the Coulon river.

The Côtes du Ventoux vineyards are part of the wine-making tradition that goes back to antiquity. One of the oldest wine silos dating back 2500 years was found in Loriol Du Comtat, near Carpentras. Pseudo-Ionian pots were found North of Maulaucène, proving that wine existed at this time, and in Apt, excavations unearthed wine dolias that date from between the 4th and 1st Centuries AD. Innumerable amphora and Gallo-Greek inscriptions have been found in the area as well.

Once the Barbarian invasions came to an end in the Middle Ages, wine returned to the dinner table. In 882, the Bishop of Carpentras gave a vineyard in Malemort du Comtat as a gift to his monks. 11 centuries later, Saint Mayeul, the greatest and most famous Cluny abbey, who was born in Apt, had vines planted on all of his properties in and around Apt.

During the 14th Century, the Avignon popes had wines from Maulaucène, Pernes, Malemort and Carpentras delivered for their court. In the middle of the 14th century, King Louis-Philippe chose Grenache Vieux of Mazan as his court wine.

While he sighed over Laure, Pétrarque grew vines in Fontaine de Vaucluse. In Rome three centuries later, the white, red and rosé wines of Malemort du Comtat were recognized as some of the best of the papal states wines.

The Côtes du Ventoux wines became an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée on July 23 1973.

Red and rosé wines: Primary grape varieties -Grenache Noir, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan. Secondary varieties - Picpoul noir, Counoise, Clairette, Bourboulence, Grenache blanc and Roussanne Carignan is permitted to a maximum proportion 30%, secondary varieties permitted to a proportion of 20%.

White wines: Primary grape varieties - Clairette, Bouboulenc, Grenache blanc. Secondary varieties - Roussanne, to a maximum proportion of 30%.

Wines that come from Picpoul blanc, Pascal Blanc and Uni Blanc vines that were planted before November 10, 1994 benefit from A.O.C. status until harvest-time in the year 2014; these grape varieties are permitted to a maximum proportion of 20% for the reds and rosés and 30% for the whites.

Minimum degree of alcohol : 11°

Cotes du Luberon is a somewhat newer AOC, (granted in 1988) that lies east of Avignon and is located in the Vaucluse department south of the Coulon River.

The Luberon vineyards go back to ancient times. The Romans cultivated these vines particularly in the Aigues country. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance eras, the winegrowing area was greatly expanded, especially in the Northern part of Little Luberon. In the 18th Century, the vineyards took over 18% of the Lourmarin terroir and 30% of the Tour d'Aigues terroir.

Red and Rose wines: minimum 60% Syrah and Grenache Noir, maximum 20% Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault, and minor grape varieties (Picpoul Noir, Counoise Noire, Gamay Noir with white juice, Pinot Noir)

White: Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc (maximum 50%), Clairette Blanche, Vermentino (or Rolle), Bourboulenc Blanc, and some minor varieties (Roussanne and Marsanne)

Minimum degree of alcohol for reds, whites and rosés : 11°


Larousse Encyclopedia of Wine
Interprofession des vins A.O.C. Cotes du Rhone & Vallee du Rhone

[This message has been edited by mrdutton (edited 05-22-2000).]

- winoweenie - 05-22-2000 09:43 AM

Heck-Fire MrD , your answer would have done a first-growth proud much less a 10 buck bottle. I`m ever-reminded of the words Curmster said to me when I joined the kids...There are a whole hell of a lot of smarts in this bunch! Winoweenie

- winecollector - 05-22-2000 10:11 AM

Clive Coates would be proud of you Mrdutton! Ever see his exaustive history on the top Bordeaux properties? I think it's called "Grand Vin." Very good reading if your into history. It also contains tons of tasting notes on these same properties.

Incidently, I've had a couple of bottles of the 1993 Val Jonas, a Cotes du Luberon wine. I opened one, and gave the rest away. Enough said!

- hotwine - 05-22-2000 10:43 AM

Thanks for the translation assistance, Scoop.
(How embarrassing! I knew my focus on engineering dictionaries would get me into trouble....)

- Scoop - 05-22-2000 10:48 AM

Last October I spent two weeks in and around the Luberon, and after visiting -- and sampling product from -- numerous local wineries, I found this to be an up-and-coming region where a lot of investment money has poured in in recent years. A lot of vineyards have gone "biodynamic", too, in their vitification. It's not the Languedoc, but there's some action.

A lot of the best producers don't export to the US -- yet. But if anyone is traveling to that part of France, I would be glad to give some names of some wineries.

On top of some great, quaffable roses, you can find some very good cinsault, grenache and syrah blends, some that are even age worthy. They are a bit on the rustic side, with some herbal characteristics, reflecting the coutryside itself (where sage, rosemary and thyme grow wild and perfume the air). But I find them charming. And the whites can be pretty good too, as the bargain white "La Vieille Ferme" indicates (BTW, the other grape variety I forgot up above is Grenache Blanc -- thanks Dutton!).

Don't let one bad bottle completely color your perception!



- winoweenie - 05-23-2000 08:30 AM

Jumping on the bandwagon( albiet some-what late ) i went to my local favorite purveyor and purchased a bottle of the 97 La Vieille Ferme. What a killer 6.56 ( case ) bottle of juice. Ordered 2 cases. Thanks whomever for the tip. Winoweenie

- mrdutton - 05-23-2000 05:04 PM

I'll have to put this on my 'future' list. Right now I have too much wine on hand and have to reduce the inventory somewhat.

- Scoop - 05-24-2000 08:36 AM

Well, that's a problem we'd all like to have, Dutton, like having too many all-stars on your bench!


- hotwine - 05-24-2000 10:40 AM

Sounds like it's time to purchase or build additional wine racks. That's a nice position to be in, and one that I've found is fun to contemplate as I try to decide which type to build, and whether to make them of wood or steel, and toying with the design for the size bottles anticipated, etc. That's fun stuff!

- winoweenie - 05-26-2000 09:39 AM

Goodness Gracious MrD When in the blue-blazes do you ever have TOO much wine. As the ol`family motto passed from Gen-A to Gen-X goes, " Far better to have TOO much than not ENOUGH!" Winoweenie

- mrdutton - 05-26-2000 06:25 PM

Alright, alright, alright. I DON'T have TOO MUCH wine............. [img][/img]

It is just that my wine rack is full to overflowing and I have two cardboard cases that are also full in addition to that.

Yes, I need more rack space, not less wine...... [img][/img]

- Drew - 05-30-2000 06:00 PM

I have not tried the "La Vielle Ferme" 97' and thought I'd try a bottle with tonights grilled burgers, due to previous posts. Grilled veggies and pasta salad accompanied the burgers. The cork had bled through and I decanted for 1 hour. The wine was flat tasting, no excitement. I don't have much experience with corks that bleed through.... was the flat taste due to the bad cork? Should I try another bottle?


- Innkeeper - 05-30-2000 06:17 PM

Emphatically yes.

- hotwine - 05-30-2000 06:40 PM

I agree with Innkeeper: by all means, try another bottle. You might wish to purchase the next one from a different retailer, in the event that vendor had a storage problem, and allowed his wines to cook. (For that matter, it could be the distributor who had the temperature problem, in which case multiple retailers could have received cooked wine.) I've not had that problem with La Vielle Ferme; and decanting hasn't been necessary. I've been enjoying it for four years, and the corks have consisently been clean and tight - just pull, pour and enjoy. If you bought the bad one from a supermarket, use a wine shop for the next one; rare is the supermarket stock clerk who bothers to provide cool storage for wines.

- Drew - 05-30-2000 07:01 PM

Thanks, I'll try another. This bottle was purchased from a reputable merchant to which I will bring this to his attention.


- Drew - 06-02-2000 08:47 AM

Well I went out and purchased another bottle of La Veille Ferme. This time the cork was good, clean and tight. This is truly a good value. Had a glass after work last night on the deck, (with the mosquitoes!). Popped and poured, smooth and tasty...all for $5.99. Thank you all for the advice.


- Innkeeper - 06-03-2000 10:42 AM

Saw the white one today. Left it on the self though because didn't want to get in trouble with Winoweenie. Actually, have an over allocation of white stuff in pipeline for summer right now, but will try it later on.