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September Wine Time With Bill Carlson
Wine Time with Bill Carlson
If you are looking for some of the best wine values in the world the place to turn to is the South of France. The Languedoc-Roussillon is a wine region stretching from Provence to the Pyrenees and along the Mediterranean Coast. Languedoc-Roussillon produces a third of all French wine and is the bargain basket of France.
The wine importer Eric Solomon has the uncanny ability to cherry pick some of the best wines from France that have been overlooked and distributes them here in the States. Without fail, the wines are high quality, super fresh tasting with all the unique flavors of the soils and climate of the South of France. They way over deliver for their prices and are comparable to wines costing 2-3 times as much.
One of the gems in Eric Solomon’s portfolio are the wines from Domaine Lafage. Their just released 2015 Novellum Chardonnay ($11.99) is a complex and full bodied wine that year in year out is the best deal in Chardonnay. The wine has very little oak in it, but what makes it stand out is the aging on Viognier Lees for three months. Lees are spent yeast cells that fall to the bottom of the tank during fermentation and when the wine is stirred make it magical. Peaches, baked breads and a creamy finish are the components of this well-made Chardonnay.
Grenache is the king of grapes in the South of France and is typically used in blends, but I quite like it by itself. The 2014 Le Paradou Grenache ($9.99) from the same wine making family of Château Pesquié is a winner.
This is a perfect warm weather red to drink slightly chilled when you’re barbecuing. It has a beautiful light raspberry color, flavors of dark cherries and what the French call “Garrique”—the herbal scent of lavender and forests that permeate the Provence country side. This is a lighter bodied red that packs a bit of white pepper on the finish to give it depth. Great with herb roasted chicken or grilled bratwursts.
The wines from the South of France pack lots of flavor and terroir for a very fair price. Both the Novellum Chardonnay and Le Paradou Grenache are available in Seville’s Wine Shoppe, along with many other amazing wines from Eric Solomon sections.