Friday, October 2, 2009

Good cheap wine #3

Wine producers working in regions without much contemporary cachet have a monumental problem; how do they get consumers, overwhelmed with a flood of international wines produced in similar styles, interested in something different? Here's one way: make your wines refreshing, driven by varietal rather than stylistic characteristics, price them well and make them easy to serve.

Welcome example number one from vineyards formerly producing Armagnac; in fact, this little quaffer puts the lie to the idea that grapes normally used to produce brandy like ugni blanc and colombard can't make good wine. Fresh, floral and citrusy, with aromas of grapefruit, lime peel and nectarine, the Colombelle from Gascony is remarkably crisp and lean on the palate, with a great swoosh of citusy acids along with some peachy freshness and a clean, bright finish. It's relatively low in alcohol (11.5% abv), which makes it perfect for a light lunch, hot night, spicy food, or as an aperitif. The price (about $10) is exceptional at a time when flabby pinot grigios can still command $20. Buy it by the case if you find it. (Wine Sellers, LTD)

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