About the wine
Traditional vinification for 21-28 days, with gentle pigeage in order to favour gentle extraction. Matured on lees for 12 months in 1/3 cuve, 1/3 foudres, 1/3 egg shaped cuves.
About the producer
Sébastien Vincenti is widely recognised as one of the two best producers in Ventoux and to make things even better, he keeps a reasonable pricing policy despite his ever-increasing reputation & growing international demand. His 38 hectares estate comprises 3 distinct vineyard sites located in 3 different communes: Mazan, Mormoiron & Saint Pierre de Vassols. The majority, a plot of 28 hectares around the domaine itself, consists of clay & limestone gravel soils, with the focus on red wine production. This is the historic heart of Fondrèche situated on a plateau, which has the ideal drainage capability, retaining enough water in times of drought, but draining well in times of rain. Regular breezes & marked diurnal temperature fluctuations ensure that the grapes mature gently and evenly, whilst also retaining plenty of natural freshness and vitality. Two further plots, totalling 10 hectares, have sand & silt soils, which are perfect for the production of elegant white & rosé wines. Although these sites would be considered late ripening terroirs for
the Southern Rhône, they ripen earlier, so the fruit always retains good acidity. If some terroirs of the Southern Rhône are able to produce wines of real depth, as well as a strong mineral seam, then Fondrèche is surely worthy to be considered amongst them.
Vines worked in a very natural way, the aim being to create perfect harmony between vine, soil and environment. No chemical herbicides are used. Soils worked mechanically in order to drive the roots deep. Grass cover is encouraged. Any treatments are 100% natural. All stages of vineyard and cellar work are determined by the lunar calendar. Sébastien’s wines are polished and seductive, yet he always strives to fine-tune his techniques as each vintage passes.
Jancis Robinson (Purple Pages jancisrobinson.com):Compressed and weighty, with more savoury power than their Nature bottling. Floury tannic grip, long liquorice finish. This has substance and persistence, and clearly benefits from a naturally ripe vintage. Points: 16.5. Date Tasted: 12/10/2017
Robert Parker Wine Advocate (robertparker.com):A terrific "entry-level" wine, Fondreche's 2016 Ventoux Rouge is an amazing value, especially as it's often available for less than $20. Hints of pepper and clove accent cherry and chocolate notes in this full-bodied, rich and velvety blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah (30% each), plus 10% Cinsault. The 2017 seems crisper and more vibrant, but this 2016 is suppler and easier to drink. (Joe Czerwinski) Points: 92. Issue Date: 31/10/2018
Jeb Dunnuck (jebdunnuck.com):Moving to the classic cuvee of the estate, the 2016 Ventoux Domaine checks in as 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre that will spend 18 months in a mix of stainless steel and tank. It offers a beautifully complex bouquet of black raspberries, candied violets, cedary spice and potpourri. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, incredibly polished and elegant, I suspect it’s the finest Domaine release to date. (Jeb Dunnuck) Points: 91-93. Date Tasted: 19/10/2017
Regions Vintage Report:“After an exceptional 2015 vintage it’s difficult to believe that 2016 could match up to let alone deliver wines of superior quality. It was quite different in the North with fresher, fragrant whites and more subtle and elegant reds. But for once the South is where sublime wines were produced with some of the most impressive wines I have ever tasted! And to make things better they are not overly rich or heavy, but rather exceptionally balanced. Volumes are reasonable, especially compared to 2017 where quantities are very often 50% down on average” Christian Honorez DirectorThe North Following the superlative 2015 vintage it would be easy to downgrade 2016 wines. Of course, they do not have the intensity and ripeness of last year’s wines but they make up for it with beautiful fruit and great balance. One does not always look for muscle and structure in the North and many beautiful wines are produced in balanced vintages like 2016. Do not get me wrong, 2016 isn’t a weak and lean vintage, far from it, but the best wines are those capturing the essence of the Syrah grown in that part of France; perfumed, elegant and savoury. Moreover, of course a slightly cooler year benefitted the whites that are incredibly perfumed, rich but not overly ripe. The South It was difficult not to notice the broad smiles and the joy after the 2016 vintage. Two magnificent vintages producing decent yields will certainly help the producer’s cash flow, especially after a few challenging vintages and the prospect of notably reduced volumes in 2017. The whites are rich, perfumed with enough freshness to carry the ripeness through. Many of them will evolve beautifully for several years, but of course, the ‘piece de resistance’ are the magnificent reds. Ripe, juicy, with just enough structure, elegant tannins and a good dose of freshness; I cannot remember having tasted so many great wines from a single vintage. The easiest ones are so appealing that I wanted to decant them into a bottle to drink the same day, despite knowing that they will last and improve for many years. Some wines are a touch more austere and will require 2 or 3 years cellaring, but for many of us the problem will be to resist the charm and appeal of these young wines. I will certainly buy as much as possible to enjoy over the next 10+ years.Christian Honorez, Director November 2017©adVINture 2020