Enjoy your Labor Day party with these tasty, inexpensive wines from southwestern France made from unique grapes.
Rose’ is summer’s color and the 2010 Chateau Bellevue La Foret Rose’ has the bright crimson-orange glow of a pure sunset. Southwestern France has many indigenousness grapes including negrette, which comprises 70 percent of La Foret Rose’, with 20 percent gamay and 10 percent syrah in the balance.
Negrette is a black grape brought from Cyprus to this area of France in the 12th century by the Knights of the Order of St. Jean of Jerusalem returning from the Crusades. The 2010 Chateau Bellevue La Foret Rose’ offers an appealing ripe red fruit aroma and a bigger body than normally found in rose’. It’s packed with cherry and black cherry flavors, good acidity and a pleasing finish.
While the wine is ideal for your Labor Day party, you’ll also want to have it when the sunsets get shorter and barbecued chicken gives way to roasted birds.
Fer Servadou, also called mansois, is an indigenous grape in Marcillac, one of the smallest appellations in France. The Teulier family cultivated it for four generations in a tiny 2-acre vineyard. In 1982, the family began buying and renting older vineyards and now control 65 acres for their Domaine du Cros.
Marcillac is a red wine appellation requiring at least 90 percent fer servadou in its wines. The 2009 Domaine du Cros is pure fer servadou.
Made in stainless-steel temperature-controlled tanks, the wine is dark red with a pungent perfume of black fruit, black tea, dried herbs and leaves. Its medium body delivers a tart black-cherry flavor that has the juiciness of Beaujolais’ Moulin-a-Vent and the rustic texture of Loire Valley cabernet franc.
The grape’s range of aromas and palate sensations make me envision the 2009 Domaine du Cros aside a grilled hamburger or a country pate with rye toast and a dollop of Dijon mustard.
The 2010 Chateau Bellevue La Foret Rose’ and the 2009 Domaine du Cros retail for approximately $14.
Les Vignes Retourvees translates to “the rediscovered vines” which is the perfect name of this white wine from Saint-Mont. Made by Producteurs Plaimont, a wine cooperative, the 2009 Les Vignes Retrouvees Blanc Sec is composed of 70 percent gros manseng, and 15 percent each of arrufiac and petit courbu. And it is very good.
The grapes were fermented in stainless-steel temperature-controlled tanks and aged for 6 months in used oak barrels producing a wheat-colored wine with mild vanilla and earthy aromas. Its full body carries a citrus flavor with a pleasant acidity.
Pour a glass of 2009 Les Vignes Retrouvees Blanc Sec with a seafood salad or grilled flounder, halibut or sole.
The 2009 Les Vignes Retrouvees Blanc Sec retails for approximately $14.
Domaine d’Uby, founded by the Morel family in 1920, makes a range of wines using primarily organic methods, and provides on the estate one of the last wetlands in Europe for the blue turtle, an endangered species.
You’ll find the blue turtle logo on the label of the 2010 Domaine d’Uby Colombard-Ugni Blanc white wine. Rising from the glass is a delightful lemon and fresh cut grass scent that triggers memories of Loire Valley sauvignon blanc. The palate is equally rewarded with green apple and lime flavors with crisp acidity and length.
And the 2010 Domaine d’Uby Colombard-Ugni Blanc pleases at the check-out counter, too- it retails for approximately $11.