Interesting little wine, this. Hippodrome Ventoux Rouge is a one off wine made by Marc Pichon in Ventoux for T Edward wines in Manhattan. Marc bought an old vineyard in the Ventoux region and has been rebuilding it and transitioning to organic agriculture under his own brand: Anne Pichon. So this wine, Hippodrome, was made by him exclusively for T Edward and they bought it all. Then they started looking at their warehousing costs for these 1000 cases of wine they had and decided to just move it on. So I got a really good day on a bunch of cases and it's available around southern Maine for a limited time.
I don't know for sure, but I'll bet $5 the wine is primarily Grenache with a bit of Syrah blended in. All I've read about Marc's wine making emphasizes organic practices and slow gentle handling. For whatever reason, this really has a slow gentle quality to the taste. It has the bright vibrant raspberry fruit and floral rose aroma that I associate with Ventoux, but it's smoother than most Ventoux I've tasted. It has some nice hints of pepper on the mid palate and some soft slightly dry tannins on the finish, but overall very integrated. And it's 12% alcohol! Not too heavy as a result and a bit more balanced seeming. At the greatly discounted price of $11.99 I enjoy this a lot. It's a perfect lighter rhone gateway fall wine. The weather's still warm and there's plenty of time to drink Bordeaux, Gigondas, and Cahors in the months to come. This Ventoux is perfect for now.
Available at Freeport Cheese and Wine, the Rosemont Markets in Portland, and Down East Beverage on Commercial St in Portland for approximately $11.99