La Vieille Ferme was crafted by the Perrin family as an everyday wine that would provide a lot of quality of for the price and is good enough to make it on a restaurant wine list. Designed as a direct mail wine over 35 years ago it has migrated onto the store shelves of the United States where it has found some fans among professional reviewers and consumers looking for something more than a mouth of fruit flavor. Coming from the Southeast corner of France the 2011 contains four different grapes, Grenache, Syrah, Carignane and Cinsault, typical of Cote du Rhone from the Southern Rhone.
The 2011 La Vieille Ferme Red is a deep ruby color when poured, but move past to the aroma of fresh fruit and spice that rises up out of the glass. Blackberry and a hint of peppery spice is full and pleasant to experience while swirling some air into the wine. Good fruit up front and a solid mid palate the finish is a bit short and not as interesting. Take a little time to savor the wine; blackberry continues to dominate the flavor profile, but not at the expense of some black cherry sweetness and green herb support on the back side. Finishing with black pepper, evolved tannin and clean acidity this wine has levels of flavor that those who “gulp and go” are liable to miss.
On its own this is an ok choice in my opinion it moves up to another level with a meal. We had lasagna and the fruit balance the tomato, the herbal not complemented the herbs in the sauce and the acidity did a nice job of clearing the food and setting up the next bite. Pizza would be a good choice, as would burgers or a stew pot, but I would avoid the higher fat beef cuts and stick with simpler meals that fit the weight of the wine. Looking a few holidays ahead, consider this wine for your Thanksgiving table, a few years ago Sandra Silfven made that suggestion in a Detroit News review and after my recent experience she was onto something.
Not long ago you could find this wine almost anywhere in the $6 range, but the recent exchange rate movement, as well as the recent return to growth in the demand for wine has moved it up a couple of dollars in our area. The La Vieille Ferme Red fits the personality and purpose the family designed it for, a good solid everyday wine that is acceptable for who are tired of the overdone fruit in many value wines, but don’t want to spend a lot either. In closing I would suggest looking for the 2012 vintage, this is a fresh wine intended to be consumed as it hits the market and it isn’t apparent that older vintages gain from the age.