Over the last several weeks, I have found myself gravitating to French wines. Especially French red wines. My palette has been craving the earthy, mineral taste that you get with many French wines. This is the taste that comes out when the wine is balanced and there isn’t too much fruit. The fruit is there, but its subtle and the drinker can discover the taste of the soil and the earthy water that was sucked up through the vine into the fruit.
Austin Wine Merchant enabled my desire last weekend by hosting a “bang for your buck” French red wine tasting. They sampled five reds from various regions in France. All of which they found to be great value wines. Of the five wines I tasted, I loved (and bought) three of them, liked one of them, and found the fifth to be too fruity.
One of the wines I bought was a Corbières red wine from Languedoc in the south of France. One of the primary grapes of that region is Carignan, which is a commoners grape – numberous, and hearty, and usually found in table wine. This Corbières was definitely a table wine. Extremely dry and rich with minerals. It was exactly what I wanted.
Another bottle, which I enjoyed the following evening, was from Chateau Bellevue de Rambuad in Bordeaux. I spent a long time researching this wine to try to find information on the soil around the Chateau. This wine wasn’t grown near the river, which makes it hard to determine as a right bank or left bank Bordeaux. The winery is located near the village of Pellegrue, which is about 65 km east of the town of Bordeaux. Again, this was a very earthy wine. It wasn’t as dry as the Corbières, but you could taste the soil and clay in it.
One of the reasons I do like these earthy red wines so much is that they are so good with or without food. They are perfect to enjoy while cooking because they don’t have a strong flavor that takes away from tasting the food. And at $10 each, I get all the pleasure of drinking French wine without the price that comes along with so many French wines.