Recently I was very involved in coordinating the French theme region events for the Vancouver International Wine Festival. One thing that kept striking me was the amazing value in many of the wines from France. I think a lot of people are under the impression that French wines are very expensive. Of course, there are a lot of very expensive, highly sought after wines from regions such as Bordeaux, Champagne and Bourgogne. That said, you can still find great value wines even from these regions.
This inspired me to make this the theme of my recent wine club. Here are some of the wines that we found to be the most impressive from the selection I chose.
Cave de Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé NV Bourgogne – I bought this wine up at Kitsilano Wine Cellar on 4th Ave for $26. This blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir offers some lovely creamy strawberry notes. As much as I love to support our BC bubbles I have to admit that this wine offers strong competition in that under $30 price range. The beautifully ornate gold packaging enhances the feeling that you’re drinking something special as well.
Charles de Cazanove Brut NV Champagne – Now this was a wine that got a lot of people talking at the France Bubbly party that kicked off the 2014 Vancouver International Wine Festival French events. It retails for $49.99 which is a fantastic price for Champagne and was a favourite among many to boot! Find it here http://bcliquorstores.com/product/420315
Domaine Lathuiliere Pisse Vielle 2012 Brouilly – Although this wine may not have been an overall favourite at the wine club I want to mention it because I really enjoyed it. The more I try Gamay Noir, the more I like it. Don’t be expecting an in-your-face wine here but for $25 this Cru Beaujolais will deliver interesting complexities that inspire conversation. Find it here http://bcliquorstores.com/product/924365
Chapoutier Bila Haut, 2012 Côtes du Roussillon Villages – This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan is actually the wine that inspired me to plan a theme around the great value wines of France. For $18.99 this wine delivers a load of juicy berry fruit combined with some lovely smoky, peppery notes. Find it here http://bcliquorstores.com/product/40790
Rigal les Terrasses Malbec, 2011, Cahors – The hottest discovery of the evening was also the least expensive wine that I chose. I knew that everyone at the wine club had tried Malbec from Argentina but I was confident most of them realised it originated in France or had ever tried a French Malbec. I was right. For $14.99 this wine packs a lot of bold flavours into a smooth wine offers stiff competition to anything at this price out of Argentina. The 10 months it’s seen of oak aging adds some complexity but the fruit shines through. Find it here http://bcliquorstores.com/product/786590
The bubbles and whites