I love the Tour de France. I love the chess-like mind games that go on, I love the beauty of the peloton in full flow, I love the heroic strength of the riders, the absurd doomed breakaways, the comedic bicycle sculptures made of bales of hay and tractors, but mostly I love the mountain stages, and of the mountain stages I love Ventoux the best.
Seeing riders go up Ventoux with hairpin after hairpin under a baking hot sun, climbing for hours, attacking, fending off attacks, heading back for water or just trying to get over the mountain in the slow coaches “autobus” within the time limit is just a joy. When the reach the summit there’s no vegetation, just a barren burnt out moonscape.
Ventoux wines therefore bring all of that summer joy back, and when a wine is made by a Mr Joly any kid raised on the Mr Men books is going to smile.
I gave the Joly Ventoux from Naked Wines plenty of time to breathe, and to warm up a little so it had every chance to shine. It was good. There was lots of plummy fruitiness, a bit of damson and prune found its way into the mix with a little black pepper spicing it up.
It was easy drinking wine and it went down smoothly. Very smoothly, even though it had quite a full 14% of alcohol. The fruit carried it along nicely and a nice balance of ripe and firm tannins worked well.
I enjoyed it. I checked out Virgile Joly (for that is Mr Jolly’s real name) and he makes this wine from the grapes from his grandfather’s vineyard, that just adds an extra level of loveliness to the wine for me. I do hope no one with a devil outfit or a mankini stomps on his grapes.