How many of you have heard of Languedoc wine from the south of France? I doubt too many of you have heard of or tried Languedoc wines. I believe Languedoc wines in the next few years will be more available in local wine shops and stores and will rival bargain wines from Spain, Italy, Chile, and Argentina. One interesting fact about the Languedoc region is that it has the largest amount of vineyard acres and produces more wine than any other French wine region. Until recent times, it has been known in France mainly as a bulk wine-producing region. That has all changed in the land of Languedoc wines.
A recent article in the NY Times is very insightful.
Domaine de L’Hortus 2011 Le Loup dans la Bergerie – Weimax Wines 2011 $9.99
Weimax proprietor Gerald Weisel always comes up with some gems in the under $10 category of wine. This Languedoc wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Merlot and 30% Grenache, all grown organically in the Vin de Pays region of Languedoc. This is a very mellow, easy drinking wine and, although the Grenache grape is the least in the blend, I believe that is what gives this wine its character. Red fruit flavors, mostly cherry, jump out at you. This wine does not see any barrel, so it is missing some of the deeper character you find in red wines that have spent time in barrels. It is fresh and tasty. You won’t find any of that over-spiced vanilla character that is often found in inexpensive wines. This is another change- of-pace wine you should include in your list of wines to buy and experience. I see that KL Wines has the 2010 vintage of this wine also for $9.99. I have not tried this one, but I give the 2011 88 Points.
I mixed and matched several wines at the Safeway Sale that are fantastic deals in my estimation. This is the latest Safeway Sale that is 30% off, plus an extra 10% off when you purchase 6 or more bottles. The sale will run through March. Here are some of my favorites. I have reviewed before and love the Whitehall Lane 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. It is delicious and more so at $12.59. Janelle likes the Black Stallion Napa Valley Chardonnay at $13.99, and it was her favorite wine of the week. It sells for $22 at the winery.
Previously, and perhaps only available at the Burlingame Safeway, was the Il Gioiello 2007. Now they have the 2008 from a different vineyard block in Amador County. This wine is a great deal at $8.09 when mixing or matching six bottles. I actually like the 2007 a bit more, but this wine also rocks. It drinks much lighter than its 15.6% alcohol level.
I tried a Cameron Hughes 2010 Meritage from Rutherford. It’s Lot 337. The Cameron Hughes website does not reveal the exact blend but says it is mostly Merlot and Cabernet. I liked the wine and think it an 88-Point wine. Wine Enthusiast gives it 90 Points, but I just do not see that. Complexity is lacking in the wine and the finish is a bit short. Safeway is currently selling this wine for $14.47.
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