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Côtes du Ventoux

The Côtes du Ventoux is a huge appellation with over 17,500 acres of vines on and around Mont Ventoux in the Vaucluse département. This is one of the most scenic parts of France with some of the country’s prettiest villages and most beautiful countryside. 90% of the wine is produced by co-operatives and its tends to be surprisingly lighter and sweeter than that of the Côtes du Rhône. However, some of the less widely available prestige cuvées are capable of ageing well and provide outstanding value.

The 1999 vintage was particularly good in the Ventoux. The best estates have produced wines which compare favourably with top Gigondas, for example. By summer 2001, many estates were restricting purchases of their prestige cuvées to six bottles per customer and cellar door prices in excess of 100 francs per bottle were not unusual. Some, but not all, of these estates are worth watching! 2001 was another excellent year: Ciaràn Rooney of Domaine des Anges considers this to be his finest hour since he arrived at Mormoiron in 1998. As elsewhere in the valley, 2002 and 2003 were difficult (for very different reasons) but difficulties can be surmounted as Ciaràn's wines show. He was obviously more comfortable with the more typical conditions of 2004 which produced (at Domaine des Anges at least) another classic crop. 2005, as elsewhere in the Rhône, was a great year but it was surpassed by 2006, undoubtedly the best vintage Ciaràn has seen since he came here. However, that was before 2007!

Abbaye de Senanque (great honey, produced by the monks!) Mont Ventoux in the early morning, view from Venasque

Mormoiron,
home to Domaine des Anges

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