Domaine Mas Du Bouquet 2009 Vacqueyras

This Grand Vin de la Vallée du Rhone red blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre sells for $16 and has an ABV of 14.5%.

The Domaine Mas Du Bouquet 2009 Vacqueyras was a nice surprise as I had no preconceived notions when I purchased this wine – I’m getting better at this as I get older & wiser.

Aromas of dark cherry, dark plum, dark raspberry – dark berry in general wafted its way to the ‘ol schnozzola. Not sure if I was having a really good day or a really bad day with the aromas but dark berry was the call of the day.

Flavors of elderberry, boysenberry, fig, and yes, dark berries found a smooth dark chocolate cherry cordial finish. This had some nice acidity and I noticed this tasted much better the second day, so maybe I’ll open this up for a while in the future before pouring into my glass. Or at the very least through the aerator (which I neglected to do) to open up the aromas and flavors a bit more. But a very nice, decent wine for the price.

Here’s to good wine, good food & good friends…


Chateau Doyac 2006 Haut Medoc Max de Pourtales

A red blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from 20-year old vines and an alcohol by volume of 13.5% had a rich purple color. The aromas of cherry, blackberry, fresh sage, forest floor, and moss wafted its way to my schnozzola slowly and uniformly. This began to open the wine senses for an exciting experience with a French Bordeaux.

Not only were the aromas very pleasing but the flavors of cherry, cedar, earth, and cigar box were blended with a great deal of care. On the finish I found a delectable vanilla finish, faint but no mistaking the vanilla.

An exceptional French Bordeaux I found on sale for $19.99 but worth much more. I did manage to purchase four bottles of this so I will cellar the last three for a few years and see what develops. Although I again failed to buy a case of this and probably won’t find this bargain price again I do urge you to buy a couple of bottles and drink up.

We paired this with meatloaf, I know, cut off my culinary tongue, but it really paired quite well. I’ll presume this would go very well with grilled meats such as lamb, venison, beef. If any of you try this with buffalo let me know how the pairing went.


Cahors 2008 Les Cotes d’Olt Cuvee Tradition

There are days you are in the mood for a particular meal and on one particular night wheat pizza with all the fixin’s were the spotlight of the evening. Usually I seem to enjoy a good Zinfandel with a pizza, unless of course, I opt for a beer instead which is what I normally do. But this night I decided to go with this French wine.

With a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot, I hemmed and hawed whether or not to open this as I have found in the past that only Zinfandels work for me with pizza. Well, this Malbec/Merlot blend was brimming with black and red fruit aromas of black cherry, red cherry, black raspberry, and hints of spice.

Jammy raspberry, black cherry, and ripe wild black raspberry flavors were found on the palate with hints of spice, tobacco, and mocha on the finish. Very reasonably priced at $8.99. A very decent wine to keep in the wine cellar when the mood strikes you for pizza.

Le Coq Rouge 2010 Pays d’Oc

A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Grenache, 10% Merlot, and 10% Syrah, this French red was chosen merely because I liked the label, nothing more – nothing less. This wine wasn’t overly complicated but it did whet the palate.

On the nose were black and red cherry, herbs, and pepper aromas. The palate found much the same but heavier on the black berry fruits. This finished with a chocolate nuance. I also thought I detected a touch of vanilla too but was very subtle, almost unnoticeable.

Given the price ($8.99, I’ve seen this as high as $12.99, guess I was lucky) this was more enjoyable as I did not have any preconceived notions about it seeing as I chose this for the label only. You can find their wines at Sacha Lichine wines to get more information on other wines they produce.

We paired this with a penne pesto and chicken – I know what you’re thinking but it went very well with the meal, so don’t be afraid to experiment with other food choices. I’ll try this wine again when I get ready to fire up the old gas grill and slap a couple of burgers (probably Bison burgers) or maybe a good steak would do well too.

Chateau Sainte Eulalie 2007 Minervois La Liviniere

The Chateau Sainte Eulalie wine is a blend of 55% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 25% Carignan with a dark red color producing aromas that were woody, smoky, toasty, Sneezy, Bashful, and Doc (ah, strike the last three) and ripe red fruits on the nose was quite pleasing.

I’m finding French wines are more enjoyable as I get older (no jokes about aging – the older it gets the better it is, etc, etc, etc) and I’m not sure why but I like it. This wine had a medium bodied structure to it with flavors of black cherry, red cherry and plum prevailing with nuances of smoke and pepper. I enjoyed this with spaghetti and marinara sauce. Priced at $14.99.



Delas Saint Esprit 2007 Cotes du Rhone

This French diamond in the rough red wine is comprised of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache and upon first pour into your glass you’ll find a deep burgundy color that is slightly opaque at the very rim. Although a young wine you would think this is a well preserved vintage wine.

On the nose I experienced blackberries, red currant, and black currant aromas. On the forward palate red fruit and pepper caress your taste buds with ripe strawberries and raspberries with hints of mulberry and fig finding their way to the mid palate. On the finish a slight chocolaty flavor much like a single chocolate morsel melting on the back of your tongue. This expressive wine could easily become an everyday favorite on the dinner table.

With 13.5% alcohol by volume this wine does not overpower the palate and the best part of this was the $10.99 price tag. Wow, this wine was an almost perfect match for a stand alone wine just to sip and enjoy. I really looked for the sales receipt on this one again to ensure I wasn’t mistaken by the price, but lo and behold, there it was staring me in the face. I could deny it no longer – this was a great wine on all fronts.

Domaine de la Renjarde 2009 Cotes Du Rhone Villages Massif d’Uchaux

This deep purple French red blend is comprised of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Carignane and produced in the Southern Rhone region of France beckons the senses to partake in a trip to France through a bottle. This French wine had a really active nose with aromas of black cherry, plum, boysenberry, clove, and spice propelled your schnozzola from the “slow lane” to “warp speed” hoping that the flavor was as good as what you just sniffed. Well, it didn’t disappoint as the palate experienced dark cherries, vanilla, mocha, and oak. At $14.99 this is a pretty good buy. I’ll need to go back to my wine merchant for more of this.

We paired this with three thin crust pizzas, one with pepperoni and Parmesan Asiago cheese, another with sausage and onions, and the last one had sliced salami and black olives. The wine went perfectly with all of them. I hope the French won’t mind that I paired this wine with pizza. I would also surmise this wine would go well with grilled meats and lamb. BTW, the wine was gone long before the pizzas were.

Chateau Les Vergnes 2008 Bordeaux

The Chateau Les Vergnes crimson colored Bordeaux wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc and part of the Univitus Cooperative.

The nose opens with earthy notes, red currant, and pepper aromas. It was very lively with hints of licorice. The palate experienced dark cherry and a smooth silky finish with a decent amount of acidity.

This is a very good food wine as it paired quite well with grilled beef tenderloin and a vegetable medley of cauliflower, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. The price of $8.99 earns it 4 corks in value. This is one you’ll want to keep in your cellar for 3-5 years but very drinkable now.