The California Wine Club
In This Issue
France's Provence region has become a mighty trendy place in recent years. With its sunny climate, vivid colors, appetizing cuisine and natural scents of lavender, rosemary and thyme, Provence has inspired books, posters, television programs and, of course, travel packages.
Curiously, though, the wines of Provence don't seem to have developed as affectionate a following. Those in the know appreciate their aromatic charms, but even though Provence wines share much in common with the neighboring Southern Rhone and Languedoc, they don't command much publicity ... or shelf space in retail wine stores.
A few Provence appellations like Bandol enjoy near-"cult" followings, and specific producers like Domaine Trevallon and the organic Mas de Gourgonnier featured in the April 30, 2008 Wine Advisor are sought out by their fans.
But the fact remains that Provence wine doesn't seem to enjoy the luster that surrounds Provence as a region, and that's a shame. The wines are typically food-friendly, balanced and - with the possible exception of top Bandols, Trevallon and a few other prizes - quite affordable.
Here's a fine, budget-priced Provence wine I recently enjoyed. I'd like to hear about your favorites. To share your thoughts, check in at our WineLovers Discussion Group, where you'll find today's article at this link:
Domaine Valdernier 2005 Coteaux d'Aix en Provence ($9.99)
Very dark garnet with a clear edge. Fresh raspberry aromas, with a distinct edge of fresh herbs that makes me think of herbes de Provence. Raspberries and something a little more tart - cranberry, maybe - in a fresh and inviting flavor. Good, crisp red fruit lingers in a cleansing acidic finish. U.S. importer: Wine Adventures Inc., West Des Moines, Iowa. (Jan. 31, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: Fine with a standard red-meat match, local grass-fed rib eyes pan-seared medium-rare.
VALUE: Interesting, fruity and tart, a no-brainer at or around the $10 point.
WHEN TO DRINK: The '05 is still showing well, but it's not a wine for long-term cellaring.
Here's a link to the U.S. importer's Web page:
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and check prices for Domaine Valdernier Coteaux d'Aix en Provence on Wine-Searcher.com:
California Wine Club: Need a Fun and Unique Gift?
Father's Day, Graduations, Weddings and Anniversaries ... this time of year there is always something to celebrate. A gift from The California Wine Club is a tasteful way to make any occasion memorable.
Gift memberships start at $34.95 per month plus shipping, and include two bottles of award-winning wine hand-selected by club owners, Bruce and Pam Boring. Your gift recipient will also receive a copy of the club's 12-page, full-color magazine Uncorked. For wine novices or enthusiasts, Uncorked is a fun way to learn more about wine and get an up-close introduction to the family making the wines.
To place your gift orders please call 1-800-777-4443 or visit www.cawineclub.com.
Reorders are available at up to 50 percent off normal retail prices and every wine is 100 percent guaranteed.
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This week on WineLoversPage.com
WineLovers Discussion Group: Restaurant fads you're tired of
Foams, vertical food, deconstructed dishes, small plates, "fusion" ... restaurant fads abound, and after a while they become tiring to many. Read what fellow wine lovers think and add your own opinions in this active conversation in our FoodLovers Discussion Group.
Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:
Good California Pinot Gris (June 6, 2008)
Barbecue wine (June 4, 2008)
Quest for great Pinot G (June 2, 2008)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive: