La Vieille Ferme Rouge offers red fruits, earth, spice and hints of brambles. This has some soft tannin and a succulent palate. Great for drinking now with steak or Cornish kern. It is a blend of Cinsault, Carignan, Syrah, and Grenache. It is not a wine that is meant to age for the long-term.
La Vieille Ferme is owned by the Perrin family that hold some of the best estates in the Rhone Valley, especially down south. Most notably, they own Chateau de Beaucastel. From this estate, they make quite a modern, clean, fresh style of Ventoux wine.
In the south-east of the Rhone Valley situated on an old volcano is this region which produces whites, reds and roses from the classic Rhone and Languedoc-Roussillon varieties. The great producers make amazing wine but it is home to a lot of easy-drinking bulk wine for the most part.
An important supporting grape in a lot of wines from Southern France. Able to tolerate the heat but really needs a dry climate to avoid disease. It makes strong black wines that lack a bit of charm without other varieties help. It can really turn it on for textural rosé, especially when an aromatic variety is blended in.
AKA Mazuelo, Cariñena and Samsó. This is a French variety that is often used as a bit player in a blend, generally, it involves Grenache. It’s late-ripening can be problematic or a good insurance policy. In a blend, it brings dark colour, high acid and tannin.
Spain’s gift to the world. We know it as Grenache and I think everyone has a soft spot for it in some way. Almost too exuberant in expressing its sweet red fruits and high alcohol, it often needs a little bit of other wines to add moderation, structure and depth. Much like Abbott and Costello. Despite this, the wines of Priorat, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rioja and Aussie GSMs have an amazing ability to age for the long-term.
A bit of a chameleon, Shiraz can change how it looks depending on terroir and/or winemaker influence. The Syrah-based wines of Northern Rhone are dry and austere while the Shiraz of Barossa is rich and fleshy. A variety that lends itself to long aging but can be drunk at any time of its evolution.