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French red wine values tasted in 2008

The selected vibrant bottlings have given me much pleasure for the price. I have purchased them again for personal consumption. 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 2008 (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 - Domaine des Cauzes - Cabernet sauvignon

NV - 1 € - decent, partly made with underipe grapes - the nose shows red fruit, red pepper, and a note of tyre - the palate shows red fruit, red pepper, a note of tyre, balance - chemical banana lingers

Vin de pays d'oc - Intervins - Mis en bouteille à F-11000 - Cabernet sauvignon

2006 - 2 € - can be enjoyable depending on the bottling, conventional agricultural practice leads to a scrambled fruit - the nose mainly shows earth and lead pencil, with a note of red pepper - the balance is food friendly, with flavours of varietal fruit, red pepper and lead pencil, with a hint of chocolate

Vin de pays des Coteaux de l'Ardèche - Vignerons ardéchois - (en cubitainer ou en vrac) - Gamay

2007 - 2 € - aromas of ripe strawberry - the palate is conventional (unlike a natural wine), firm

Vin de pays des Coteaux de l'Ardèche - Vignerons ardéchois - Cuvée Modestine - Gamay

2007 - 3 € - cherry on the nose - cherry in the mouth, the fruit is not clean, as if pummeled, the balance is firm

Côtes du rhône - SCA les Vignerons d'Estézargues - Le Pape noir

2006 - 5 € - served at a cool temperature, this wine has more intensity of fruit than Le Pape noir 2005 tasted at the same age - the nose primarily shows black fruit and 'garrigue' - the mouth is dense (but less so than the 2005), showing black fruit and spice, the wine feels round, tender (no tanins), supple

Cahors - Clos Siguier - (Malbec, 95%)

2005 - 6 € - this wine improves with airing, it is a beauty of delicacy, balance and perfume - it's like you go out to a garden after a shower: dust, raspberry, flower, an herbal note, then black licorice and a hint of cocoa, very pure and enticing - so lively in the mouth! flavours echo the nose, the wine dries the palate, with a nice texture, light on its feet (unlike a cahors or a Malbec): firm and a great complement to food

Crozes-hermitage wine labelCrozes hermitage - Cave de Tain - [syrah]

2005 - 7 € - a wine with structure and a complete maturity of the grapes - the nose shows blackcurrant, blackberry and roasted notes -b rich on the palate, red fruit, violet, firm, dries the palate, balanced, a keeper - final notes of blackcurrant, cherry and spice

Saint joseph - Cave de Tain - Les Perdrigolles - [syrah]

2005 - 9 € - strawberry on the nose - strawberry in the mouth, a slightly incomplete ripeness, juicy, balanced

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

2006 - 7 € - nicely perfumed - the nose is very fruity (plum) - a muscular entry, red fruit, cutting acidity, ponderous and yet very lively

Vin de pays de l'Ardèche - Le Mazel - Saint-Philippe - (syrah)

2005 - 9 € - red fruit jelly dominates the nose - onctuous, red fruit jelly, the wine is not drying the palate

alsace wine labelAlsace - Audrey et Christian Binner - Pinot noir

2006 - 11 € - Morello cherry dominates the nose - little onctuosity, Morello cherry, a note of fur, light, firm, asks for more!


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