Sunday, 10 February 2013

Côtes du Ventoux, 'Les Traverses', Paul Jaboulet Aîné, 2010: Balance and power from Provence

Provence Grenache/Syrah 2010
This is, quite simply, the best wine under £8 per bottle I've tried, perhaps ever.

A bold statement? Maybe. I only bought a single bottle from the UK's Wine Society for £7.50.

This wine is big, bold, smooth, rich, elegant, powerful, all the over used words we use with good wine.

The two elements that come through the most for me are the mid palate density. Explained here, and the balance.

I'd also say it has excellent finesse, which is praise indeed considering it's classed as close as you can get to a Rhone wine, which are less known for subtlety than say a Burgundy or Bordeaux wine.

Anyhow, the 2011 is available at the same price here. A must try. Yes there is a connection between price and quality in wine, but this is a great example of just what excellent value you can get if you shop around, stay away from supermarkets and experiment with organisations such as the Wine Society. You just can never beat France for value wines, it's more or less impossible. It's the same at the top end for me. It's in the £20-100 per bottle range that Italy competes, no other country can come close.

I had a 2002 Torbreck "Descendents" recently. Around £70-80 a bottle or so. Awful. All black pepper and overpowering alcohol. This wine at £7.49 a bottle, is miles better.

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