If you know me, or if you’ve read my bio on our website, you know that I love both Bordeaux and Rhone reds. You also know that I am always in possession of and am always looking for inexpensive, any-occasion, high quality reds as well.
So while driving home last night, I answered my mobile (using my hands free device of course) and was invited to visit some friends. I wouldn’t be stopping at home, so what did I grab when I left the shop? I was perfectly content with sharing a bottle of what I was going to be drinking for the evening, the 2005 Cotes du Ventoux O’Sud by Mas Fondreche. I’ve been a fan of these wines ever since I started here. Sebastien Vincenti’s clean expression of fruit and terroir are indeed a treat for the senses.
We popped it open, had some cheese, pate and snacks available and proceeded to visit. Oh, we talked about music (the last time we got together, we had a 4-way jam session that yielded some moments of utter brilliance), we talked about literature (or about Bukowski anyway), food from the Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley (delish and good for you!), a little football (The English kind), and of course, wine. We were all in agreement that what we had in our glasses was perfectly balanced, not overbearing, and just downright pleasurable.
I then started in on Bordeaux prices and how the pricing paradigm has changed yet again. I mean come on, I used to think $300 was too much for a first growth, and nowadays, that would be a bargain. Don’t laugh, but we were able to get a small allocation of 2005 Chateau Latour on pre-arrival. I won’t share the price with you all here, but suffice it to say, it is quite out of the reach of most mere mortals. I did share the price with my friends, and their reactions were of pure astonishment. The question then arose, is it that much better than say, this fine bottle of wine we’re drinking now? They were blown away when I told them it was less than $20. More blown away when I said it was less than $15. When I told them I was going to write this email and offer a 20% discount on solid case purchases, bringing the price down to $11.19 per bottle, the first case sold.
So let’s do some math here … the price of the Latour is roughly 180 times more than the O’Sud. That means it would take 15 cases of this wine to match the price tag of one, yes one, eentsy-beentsy bottle of 2005 Latour. Can it be 180 times better? Not a chance. Am I recommending you buy 15 cases of wine? No. But one sure would do the trick.- Peter Zavialoff
We opened the bottle and poured. The first thing you notice is the deep garnet color. The early aromatics are of lush dark fruit with a hint of earth and herbs. Give it around 15 minutes or so and that fruit really expands and expresses itself. It opens up the door to some wonderful complexities. On the palate, the wine shows perfect harmony and medium structure. The finish is smooth and silky, the smoky notes of the Syrah are ever-present, buoyed by the medium purple fruit. This wine’s weight and acidity make it extremely versatile, and it will pair well with a multitude of cuisine ranging from pork chops to penne Bolognese to a Filet Mignon with Roquefort butter. Yum.
Feel free to share your thoughts about 2005 Latour, quality for price wines, jam sessions, Bukowski or Football (The English kind): firstname.lastname@example.org