05 Chateau Pesquie, Cotes du Ventoux Les Terrasses
In its least adulterated form, I think this is as good as grenache can possibly be. Whether you consider it a delightfully fruity grape or just some cheap requisite for Chateauneuf-du-Pape, what's sure is that grenache declares itself loudest in Spain and Southern France. And it's usually a dead heat between the two, with Spain often taking the lead--at least in terms of QPR. But Chateau Pesquie has fermented a billboard here that screams Nous Sommes le Grenache--We Are Grenache. It's rich and ripe, sure, but also brooding. I'm beginning to think everything on this side of France tastes like olives, savory rosemary, basil, menthol, anise, pork crackling, and infant lamb. (Imagine sweet lamb with the skin of spit-roasted pork.) The wine is fortified with about 30% syrah, which shines here. I've had Pegau that doesn't taste this good, and I think most CdP producers should use this "basic" Pesquie offering as a model for their own wines. And not to keep terroir-dropping, but the most amazing thing about Les Terrasses is how it has the finish of Vacqueyras, the dirty Northeastern Chateauneuf-du-Pape village that houses my favorite grenache. The comparisons here get more ridiculous with every glass. Pegau. K Vintners (Cougar Hills). Trio Infernal. Ventoux and September in the Midwest go together. I'll admit that. Wind and cold and city streets. But wherever you're from, I'll tell you this: you'll never find a better Ventoux. And try it, just try it, next to your Oregon pinot noirs.