30 Second Wine Advisor: Good value Languedoc red

Recommended wine book

What to Drink with What You Eat

The subtitle sums it up: "The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea - Even Water - Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers." If you like specific advice on specific pairings, this comprehensive book is for you. Buy it now from Amazon.com for just $19.59 in hardcover, a $15.41 saving (44 percent) from the $35 list price.

Good value Languedoc red

Let's stay this week with France's Languedoc region, the subject of our attention in this month's Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Groups.

The Coteaux du Languedoc ("Hillsides of Languedoc"), surrounding the city of Montpellier not far from the Mediterranean coast, is a go-to region for me when I'm looking for sturdy, robust, earthy reds that work and play well at the dinner table.

Usually made from blends of red grapes, Coteaux du Languedoc typically assembles varieties familiar to us from the Rhône: Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, often with a more prominent role for Carignan and Cinsaut.

As discussed in last week's introduction to our monthlong focus on the wines of Provence, Languedoc and Roussillon, the coastal regions of Southern France, these wines remain relatively affordable in an era of rising fine-wine prices. Expect to pay from $10 to $20 for a good Languedoc in much of the U.S. Today's featured wine comes in at the bottom of that bracket: I picked up Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue 2006 "Tradition" Coteaux du Languedoc locally at $10.99.

Join us this month as our friendly international crowd of wine lovers share our thoughts, questions and tasting notes on the wines of Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. To participate in Wine Focus on the WineLovers Discussion Group, click "France - The Southern Tier."

All forum discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post your comments and participate actively in the conversation. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system. For your user name, enter your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D", with the capital letters and the space.

Having a real name on your name tag is so important to us that all non-conforming registrations will be quietly discarded. Redemption is possible, though. If you overlook this rule and get no response to your registration, feel free to contact me personally by Email at wine@wineloverspage.com, and we'll sort it out.

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly with correctly formed user names, you'll be able to participate in Wine Focus and in all our online wine and food forums.

Today's Tasting Report

Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue 2006 "Tradition" Coteaux du Languedoc ($10.99)

Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue

Dark purple shading to a clear garnet edge. Good black-plum aromas, and, I'd swear, a hint of the "garrigue" that lends the chateau its name: The Southern French scent of mixed fresh herbs, rosemary and thyme, growing on the dry summer hillsides. Tart black plums and black cherries on the palate, fresh and bright, a rational 12.5% alcohol, laced up with mouth-watering acidity and softly astringent tannins. This is a benchmark Coteaux du Languedoc, ready to drink and a natural at the dinner table. U.S. importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2011)

FOOD MATCH: Naturally matched with red meat or roast poultry; it couldn't have been better with a Barr Farm Kentucky free-range roasting hen, simply prepared by splitting down the backbone, butterflying, stuffing garlic under the breast skin, rubbing with olive oil, sprinkling with coarse black pepper and kosher salt and roasting at 400F.

VALUE: You won't get much better value than this in the $10 range.

Importer Kermit Lynch's August 2008 newsletter has an article on St. Martin de la Garrigue.

Read more about "garrigue" in this excellent article by Master of Wine Juliet Bruce Jones, who lives in the Languedoc Roussillon region.

Compare prices and locate vendors for Chateau St. Martin de la Garrigue "Tradition" Coteaux du Languedoc on Wine-Searcher.com.

Talk About Wine Online

If you have questions, comments or ideas to share about today's article or wine in general, you're always welcome to drop by our online WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet's first and still the most civil online community. To find our forums, click:

Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. Registration is free and easy; we ask only that you join following our Real Names Real Format system, using your real name in the format "John Doe" or "John D". Anonymous, cryptic or first-name-only registrations are discarded without notice.

Once your registration has been approved, which usually happens quickly, you'll be able to participate in all our online wine, food and travel forums.

To contact me by E-mail, write wine@wineloverspage.com. I'll respond personally to the extent that time and volume permit.

Subscriptions and Administrivia

We're sorry if you must leave us, but simply click the "unsubscribe"
link at the bottom of your Email edition to be instantly removed from the mailing list.

Change address:
The quickest and easiest way to change your Email address is simply to register anew, using the link below. If you are keeping your old address but no longer wish to get the Wine Advisor there, click the unsubscribe link below to take it off our list; if you are closing the mailbox, you needn't take any action, as our system will delete your old address as soon as the mail to your old address starts to "bounce."

Subscribe to this Email edition (free):

WineLoversPage.com RSS Feed (free):

Wine Advisor Archives:

Sponsorship Opportunities:
For information, E-mail wine@wineloverspage.com