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French red wine values tasted in 2005

The selected vibrant bottlings have given me much pleasure for the price. I have purchased them again for personal consumption. Featured values include Navarre and 9 Languedocs.

The below wines were tasted in France, in 2005 (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

Vin de pays d'oc - les Chais Beaucairois - [image de soleil sur l'étiquette] - Cabernet sauvignon

2004 - 1 € - basic CS, no trace of oak barrel - green pepper dominates the scent - green pepper, blackcurrant, balanced acidity - notice that the wine tastes the same on Day 2

Coteaux du languedoc saint saturnin - Cave des vignerons de Saint-Saturnin - Lucian

2001 - 3 € - a scent of blackberry - onctuous, slightly sweet, blackberry, seems plump on account of weak acidity, the taste is very short

Vin-de-table-de-france wine labelVin de table de france - Jean-Marie Rimbert - Cousin Oscar on se l'arrache

[2004] - 4 € - a scent of strawberry - in the palate the wine shows red fruit, fat, an eager body which reminds of Corbières next door, balanced acidity, alcohol is very well integrated, much better supported than by Domaine du Vieux Colombier 2001 - notice that the wine stays cheerful if kept in the fridge for a few days, you will only lose little cohesiveness

Vin de pays des Coteaux de l'Ardèche - Vignerons Ardéchois - Syrah

2004 - 5 € - red fruit on the nose and on the palate, easy-going

Vin de table - Domaine Coste Longue - Pierrette et Claude Navarre - Cuvée Mimosa

[2004] - 5 € - red fruit, a smoky note, the flavour is typical of low-temperature fermentation - a vivid texture, red fruit, a smoked note, the flavour is typical of low-temperature fermentation, balanced acidity

Minervois wine labelMinervois - Château Sainte Eulalie - Tradition

2001 - 5 € - clear and clean - scents of black fruit, a burnt hint - silky, black fruit, less fresh than Le Lazouzil 2002 - notice that the wine loses some verve between Day 1 and Day 2

Vin-de-table-de-France wine labelVin de table de France - Domaine Navarre - Vin d'Oeillades (schistes bruns) - (oeillade, une variété de cinsault aux grains plus allongés)

[2004] - 5 € - fruit taste - aromas of red fruit, with a minerally hint - savoury, blackcurrant, a note of moss, no overripeness, firm, quiet tannins

Côtes du rhône - Domaine du Vieux Colombier

2001 - 5 € - no fuss, the ideal Côtes-du-rhône - fruit - (juicy but not smashing) fruit, solid, broad, balanced acidity, alcohol dominates fruit

Saint-chinian wine labelSaint chinian - Jean-Marie Rimbert - Les Travers de Marceau - (cinsault, syrah, mourvèdre, carignan)

2004 - 7 € - it's all about fruit flavour, this wine is clearly more intense than Cousin Oscar - the nose is intense with a red fruit specific to a low-temperature fermentation (it makes me think of blackberry sorbet), garrigue - concentrated, red fruit, garrigue, silky from entry to exit, less fat than Cousin Oscar, balanced acidity, no bitterness - long, with nougat and blackcurrant

Saint chinian - Domaine Navarre - Le Laouzil

2002 - 8 € - harmonious, with a stone note - the nose shows red fruit typical of the Languedoc (blackberry) - red fruit, balanced acidity, does not burden the mouth in any way (unlike the Sainte Eulalie 2001), no tanins left

Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes wine labelVin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes - La Préceptorie - La Chapelle de Centernach

2002 - 8 € - a nose of oak and blackberry - onctuous, silky, with a sensation of very little grains on the tongue, fresh, concentrated but less so than other bottlings by the same estate

Vin de pays de l'Ardèche - Le Mazel - Briand - (grenache)

2001 - 8 € - intensity of flavour, red fruit (blackcurrent, blackberry), roastbeef - intensity of flavour, red fruit (blackberry), onctuous from entry to exit, no smoked note, balanced acidity.
Note: some bottles may show a fizzy whisper or an acrid (acetic) hint -- serious airing (with a decanter or by waiting 24 hours) should dissolve these drawbacks.

Fleurie - Alain Coudert - Clos de la Roilette

2002 - 10 € - blackcurrant - raspberry, a cardboard undertone (which comes with the freshness), structured but not particularly dense, dries the tongue, bright: intense and fresh


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