These were the words of Tom Stevenson in The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopaedia when describing the white wines of the Cote de Ventoux. Fortunately, he used the word ‘seldom’ because Richard had brought back from holiday this wonderful Chateau Pesquie 2010 which he had opened (30 minutes earlier) on Sunday. I tasted it blind and it was certainly impressive.
Made from the fussy Rousanne grape (80%) and Clairette, with a little Viognier, the wine showed a intense deep yellow colour, beautifully clear and bright, with only medium alcohol showing (it was 12.5% ABV). The nose was particularly memorable – ripe melon fruit with apricots – as it suggested a lusciousness which was certainly noticeable in the heavy mouthfeel on the palate. It was both rich and balanced with acidity with floral honeysuckle flavours – possibly from the Viognier – and, again, apricots. The flavours were complex and very long.
There are lots of wonderful words about Rousanne, especially as to how the grape was revived from a decline and how it is favoured by the Perrins of Beaucastel fame and Jaboulet. This grape (not its more vigorous partner, Marsanne) is allowed in the white southern Rhone blends which, in the past, I have found a bit hollow. That was certainly not the case with this wine. It would make a wonderful accompaniment to stronger flavoured fish, white eat and cheese dishes.
[Richard: our second wine from this classy chateau, to the east of Carpentras. The cave had more red wine than anything else and most of the white was of recent vintage. However I spotted a few bottles of the above and wish I’d bought more, especially as the lady on the till said it was ‘the best’. I think it was around €18. A really delicious, complex, fully mature taste and, yes, the best white wine I’ve tasted in ages.]