French red wine values tasted in 2003

The selected French bottlings have given me much pleasure for the price. I have purchased them again for personal consumption. Featured values include 5 bottlings from the Midi and 4 Rhônes, and Domaine de Pierredon. You may look up the availability of wines if you enter a location name in the search box at the top of the page.

The below wines were tasted in France, in 2003 (between April and December). The tasting notes are listed by increasing prices, with the following format:

Appellation - producer - plot or brand - variety
Vintage - approximate price - general impression - on nose - on palate - after swallowing

red Vin de pays d'Oc - les producteurs réunis, 11100 Narbonne - Vieilli en fût de chêne - Cabernet sauvignon

2001 - 1.5 € - well made but simple, perfect for a barbecue - a plain nose - a big impression in the mouth, healthy fruit holds out against the power of winemaking (impact, vanilla), balanced, no plant note, a little hard on the finale

Ed, filiale de Carrefour

red Madiran - Denis Capmartin - Château Barréjat - (bag-in-box)

Non vintage - 2 € - the enormous red fruit shows more than in the Tradition cuvée, the wine is more open - red fruit dominates the nose - much fruit, dense, tannic, dries the palate and the tongue (this wine should not suit delicate taste buds)

Bordeaux wine labelred Bordeaux - S.F.V. A F 69220 - Bordeaux

Non vintage - 2 € - pleasant yet commonplace/ordinary, incomplete ripeness - a nose typical of Médoc: green pepper and the smell of an ivy patch when you tear it off the wall - a palate with tar, under-ivy, green pepper, not much dense but balanced - a short persistance

En supermarché

red Vin de pays du Pont du Gard - SCA les Vignerons d'Estézargues - Cuvée des galets - Non filtré

2002 - 3.5 € - serve it cool - easy-going, not much onctuosity, cherry, dense, out of focus, pleasant but with a stiff hint

red Vin de pays du Jardin de la France - A.Michel Brégeon - Cabernet - (cuve)

1994 - 3.7 € - a nose of cherry, red pepper and mushroom - red pepper on the palate, firm but light

red Vin de pays du Var - Domaine L'Estagnol

2002 - 4 € - cherry dominates the nose - dense, cherry, dries the palate, more tannic than the Bordeaux S.F.V. A F 69220

Côtes-du-rhône wine labelred Côtes du rhône - SCA les Vignerons d'Estézargues - Domaine de Pierredon

2001 - 4.3 € - the easy-going mouth shows much fruit and a mineral or dry note, lacks focus

red Madiran - Denis Capmartin - Château Barréjat - Tradition

2000 - 5 € - coffee and roasting dominate the nose - the palate is fruity (blackcurrant), roasted, and balanced: the wine is less open than Estézargues but more tannic and fresher, tightens the taste buds (healthy effect) - to be also compared to the 1999 vintage tasted at the same age)

red Côtes du rhône - Domaine du Vieux Colombier

1999 - 5.2 € - conforms to the Rhône standard - smells of garrigue - fruit, balance

Barrière, ham Colombiers, 485 chemin du Pigeonnier, 30200 Sabran, tél: +33 (0) 4 66 89 98 94

red Coteaux varois - Domaine Les Maurels

2001 - 5.2 € - character - the nose is dominated by chicken shit, or at least farmyard (Brettanomyces?): not disagreeable to me and the other guests - nice if a bit hollow and thin

red Côtes du rhône - André Brunel - Cuvée Sommelongue

2001 - 5.5 € - on the nose: lead pencil, liquorice, garrigue - on the palate: lead pencil, liquorice, little black fruit

red Côtes d'auvergne - Domaine de Peyra - Vieilles vignes [clay-basalt] - Non filtrée (sans soufre) - [gamay]

2001 - 6.2 € - on the nose: spice, orange, and liquorice - onctuous, the fruit typical of a low-temperature winemaking (coulis of red fruit, sorbet, smokiness), fresh, pure - the persistance shows spice, orange, and smokiness

Bourgogne-hautes-côtes-de-nuits wine labelred Bourgogne hautes côtes de nuits - Domaine Patrick Hudelot - (Pinot noir, à la propriété / sans nom de cuvée en grande distribution)

2001 - 6.8 € - On the 1st day: tasty without a big density - the cherry nose is fresh, classical Burgundy, with a roastbeef edge - intensity of flavour, cherry, rostbeef, very dry, juicy, no unripeness or manipulation, dries the palate and the gums - an aftertaste of cherry -
- On the 2nd day : a nose of morello cherry - cherry taste, holds its alcohol well, dries the palate and the gums

Saint-chinian wine labelred Saint chinian - Jean-Marie Rimbert - Les Travers de Marceau

2002 - 7.3 € - a nose with cherry and blackberry - big impact on entry, cherry and blackberry, silky with a mineral note, clean and balanced (to be compared to the 2001 vintage tasted at the same age)

Ajaccio wine labelred Ajaccio - Clos d'Alzeto - (Tradition)

1997 - 7.7 € - wood varnish (but agreeable), blackcurrant, evolved fruit - evolved fruit, old casks, juicy - dries the taste buds

Clos d'Alzeto, 20151 Sari d'Orcino, tél. +33 (0) 4 95 52 24 67


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