By the Bordeaux Chauvinist, guest sommelier columnist for World Wine Watch
This column was originally published on the Bordeaux Chauvinist’s website, Cquoi ce vin, or What is this wine? He advises on good value for money wines of all appellations, regions and countries (but he remains a Bordeaux Chauvinist). He remains anonymous, to me too, so he can objectively review friends’ (and foes) wines. Below, tries a budget Rhone Valley Merlot, and likes what he tries.
In order to avoid too frequent outings, I chose, not without some trepidation, to buy a box of red wine at Auchan Bordeaux Mériadeck, located 200 metres from my home.
I chose a 3 litre organic cube, or cask, of Le Noir Pelix “l’Elixir” 2019, a local wine, Vaucluse Principality of Orange, of which I did not even know the existence (?!) And I paid for € 17.90, or around € 4.50 per 75cl bottle !!!
This 100% Merlot is purple in color with a slight purple reflection. The nose is devilishly marked by blackberry and blueberry, the palate is delicious, fruity, ending with a note of blackcurrant, it’s incredibly good!
Served at 16°, you can marry this splendid wine with a thin candied tomato tart, red or white meats, grilled pork ribs, paella, couscous …This wine is a real “Swiss Army knife” as its fruitiness allows it to adapt to many dishes.
This Merlot is vinified at the “Cave les Côteaux du Rhône” in the 84 and is distributed by the brand “Collection glass after glass”.
I admit having taken a good lesson in humility …
If you don’t live in Bordeaux, check the said store in your region anyway. Good tasting.
Editor’s note: Orange, at the gates to Provence in the Rhone Valley in southern France is a commune in the Vaucluse Department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. The region is better known for its rosé and red wines, the Côtes-du-Rhône, typically made from Grenache Syrah and Mourvèdre (but can include Cinsault and Carigna), but clearly Merlot can do well too…
Depending on what you read, Some suggested that the Greeks were responsible for bringing the Syrah grape from the Persian city of Shiraz. White wines are made from Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier grapes.
Click here for more information on wine tours of the Provence, if you can get there and get out after the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit hard in France.