Cascavel (Ventoux)

The Mont Ventoux towers over the southern part of the Rhône valley which embraces Chateauneuf-du-Pape and the Cotes-du-Rhône Villages. Although very much in a similar style, the Ventoux has become a very trendy, upcoming sub-region, much to the dismay of the gun-toting, red-necked locals. We had been circling Domaine de Cascavel for almost a decade. The urbane Raphaël Trouiller originally set up Domaine Cascavel in the mid-1990s with the highly-strung Olivier Baguet. They went their separate ways in the early 00s and we are increasingly delighted with Raphaël’s output – two whites; the fruity, bright Elicio Blanc from 100% Vermentino, the nutty, oily In Fine Blanc made with 80% Clairette and 20% Bourboulenc. Three fruity roses and (currently) four spicy, herbal reds; Elicio Rouge (50/50 Grenache/Merlot), In Fine Rouge (90% Grenache and 10% Syrah), Le Cascavel (40% Grenache, 40% Carignan, 20% Syrah) and Leonor (50/50 Grenache/Syrah) evocative of the lavender and thyme-laden local landscape.