Values From France
by Jane Augustine
This absolute treat from Alsace is a touch peachy, a whiff floral, and irresistibly refreshing. Vinified the old-fashioned way in giant foudres, the delightful blanc blends almost every grape in the village, though none seeks to dominate. The medley includes varieties like Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Chasselas, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Muscat, giving us a harmonious bouquet of aromas for both the nose and the palate to enjoy. This alluringly quaffable wine will remind you that springtime is just around the bend.
Boucard’s youthful Cuvée Alouettes will hit the spot every time the mood strikes. The craving may begin with a thirst for something luminous and fresh, maybe a touch earthy. For a moment you might consider opening an Italian rosso, a Dolcetto, perhaps? Or something delicate and pretty, like an Alsatian Pinot. But lovely as those may be, neither will do. And then, like a beacon on the horizon, you see it: that peppery, mouthwatering bottle of pure Cabernet Franc. Vinified with a gentle, terroir-focused touch—few reds will slake your thirst with the ease and finesse of Cuvée Alouettes.
I could describe Philippe Bernède’s organically grown, 100% Malbec Cahors as a quintessential house red or an eager crowd-pleaser, but I wouldn’t want to oversimplify its appeal. Vintage after vintage, this Cahors delivers glassfuls of voluminous black fruit and bright aromatics with a pleasantly rugged core. The wine is beautifully made and deliciously balanced. It’s no surprise customers return to it with enthusiasm, not only for its provincial charm but also because (lucky for us) it resides in the value section, where it thoroughly overachieves. Sans reproche!, as the French might say—it’s simply beyond reproach.