Camarette Madden 2015
Sisters Nancy and Alex Gontier run the fantastic Domaine de la Camarette in the shadow of Mt. Ventoux. Their farm consists of vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees, woodland, and a kitchen garden. Its not far from the bustling city of Avignon and if you listen closely enough you can hear cars on the autoroute, but this place is all about peace and tranquility.
There may be no better value in French wine today than the Ventoux. It lies in the shadow of top Rhone wines like Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and the esteemed Chateauneuf-du-Pape. But with prices for those wines broaching the $75 price tag, why bother?
I've been to Camarette three times in the last year. Why? You might think its about the wine, but I knew on visit #1 that we had a keeper in the bottle. But I return for the auberge, and specifically to eat the food of Nancy's husband, Hugues, while drinking her wine. There's no better country meal in the Ventoux.
Louis is named for Nancy and Hugues daughter and has been produced exactly once since her birth in 2011. This wine right here from the glorious 2015 vintage. They only bottle their BEST in vintages that demand something special. This was one of those vintages. Grenache and Syrah are seamless together here and with a year in barrel, followed by two years in the cellar, we now have a bottle ready to drink yet not willing to throw in the towel for another decade.
How can you not go for it?!
Well, I'm not sure I can fully answer the question, but the fact is, this is just the Ventoux, whatever that means. What you'll find here is a rich, structured, concentrated mouthful of a wine that will sing at the dinner table with just about anything from barbecue to pasta with Spring vegetables to a french picnick of cheeses, charcuterie and a crusty baguette.