Apr 25 2012
Today, more than ever, there’s a focus on “value wines.” Folks wish to get the maximum for their money while still imbibing new classy wines. One of the areas where “value wine” can be discovered is in France’s Wild Southwest. This region was once known just for making bulk wine. Nonetheless, I've found a spot where I suspect you’ll find top quality at a fair price: Domaine La Croix Belle in the Languedoc.
Permit me to tell you about four of my favourites…
Saint-Chinian ‘04 – A classic Languedoc red wine. Lavish and concentrated, this wine has a hint of elegance and tons of plum, berry, and dark cherry tastes. Medium-weight tannins occupy the spicy finish. This wine has a real richness to it and is perfect for any winter dinner.
Coteaux de Languedoc ‘04 – A blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, and Cinsault. This wine is delicious, rich, and full-bodied, with layers of dark plum, chocolate, cassis, and brandied cherry flavors. It has got a muscular structure, with plenty of smokiness and bittersweet chocolate on the finish. Perfect with beef, lamb, or game. It was awarded 90 points by the Wine Spectator.
Champ du Lys Blanc ‘07 – This wine is a blend of white Grenache finished off with Viognier. The Grenache gives the wine a solid mouth feel and the Viogner produces subtle aromas. Overall, this wine is a tasty, medium-bodied white, brightly flavored with peach and gently herbaceous. This wine was recognized as one of the top 100 Vin de Pays in Britain for 2009.
No. 7 Blanc ‘04 – Perhaps the fullest white wine you may ever enjoy. It is ideal for drinking near the fire with fondue and pate. It is a blend of seven white varietals (Viognier, Chardonnay, Grenache Blanc, Sauvignon, Carignan, Muscat, and Chasan). The Wine Spectator gave it 90 points.
“Value wines,” by their very nature, can be difficult to find. After all, if everyone accepted them as being valuable, their cost would increase and they would no longer be “value wines.” Value wines must fly below the radar to some extent. Thus, I advise you to try out wines from Southwest France in general, and Domaine La Croix Belle in particular, before everybody else becomes conscious of their value.
Nic Haegeli still considers himself rather new to the wine business, but he now has several years of experience as a wine manager at Colonial Spirits of Acton, an Acton liquor store. With a BA in History and an MA in Public Policy in International Relations, Nic never imagined himself working with wine. Nonetheless, he was raised in Alsace, France… Thus, it is sensible when you know his motherland. Nic would like to invite you to stop by our liquor store for one of our many wine tastings… and don’t forget to check out our Wine Blog!