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Values From Across France

Part of working in the wine business is taking advantage of every possible opportunity to taste wine and tasting all this killer wine all the time is pretty awesome. It’s sort of a Catch-22, though. While I’m always finding new favorites, as long as I sell wine for a living, I’ll probably never make enough money to actually buy most of it. (What a complaint to have!)


So you shoppers out there should know that if you’re looking for good deals, be sure ask the wine guys in the aisles we’ve all pretty much made a career out of finding good wine values.


Because May is French Wine Month here at Binny’s, and because I was pretty impressed with these particular wines, here are a few values from all around France that I tasted recently.


Values From Across France


For an unusual white wine, give the 2008 Hughes Beaulieu Picpoul de Pinet a try it sounds more scary than it is. From Languedoc, this fresh little white has an interesting nose of citrus fruits underlined with piny notes. Bigger than you’d expect for the price, the soft fruit and acidity is balanced well with a stony minerality.


If you’re looking for a good bargain from Burgundy, try the 2007 Le Jardine de Charlotte Bourgogne Rouge, it’s a great pinot noir for the price. A familiar, spicy nose of old-world pinot (I always think of cinnamon dental floss, but in a good way) supported with lots of tart red cherry. On the palate it’s deep, a good example of Burgundy, with deep fruit and herbs.


I’m a big fan of the Rhone, so the 2006 Domaine Grand Nicolet Cotes du Rhone caught my attention. The nose is a bit soft (quiet? understated?) with a hint of mustiness, which is why the huge amount of raspberry on the palate comes as a bit of a shock. I actually wrote out “BANG!” in my notes. The heavy fruit is countered with good, fine tannins and anise. Robert Parker calls this one “a heck of a wine that sells for a song.”


Your local Binny’s probably has plenty of reasonably priced Bordeaux – a few big shipments have arrived over the last few weeks. Like I said,the wine guys in the stores know which are the best deals, so don’t be afraid to ask. One that caught my attention is the 2005 Domaine du Bouscat, a great yet inexpensive Bordeaux Superieur. Raspberry, earth and wood on the nose lead into a solidly tannic wine with strong notes of dark chocolate, raspberry and tea and a finish with plenty more of the fine tannins.

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