Wines for the Cellar - Southern France

Where to find great values


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Wines for the Cellar - Southern France The other week, I started picking through the great wines of France, highlighting the great cellarable wines of France that aspiring wine collectors should keep an eye out for. I started with Bordeaux and Burgundy, the most famous and most prestigious appellations in France, but not necessarily the best source for values.

If you’re on the lookout for values, you’ll have to search around a bit, but even some very affordable wines have suffered the same fate as their most prestigious brethren. The fact of the matter is that as the famous wines become more and more expensive, larger sums of money set out to chase the second- and even third-tier wines, raising each’s price in turn.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t great values out there. You just have to know where to look!

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  • Snooth User: rolifingers
    Hand of Snooth
    434970 414

    Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of my favorite french wines. I'll take it over Bordeaux anytime. I should do some soil comparison ( by reading up on it ofcourse ) of The Southern Rhone and Bordeaux regions to see why that is.

    Mar 07, 2011 at 3:07 PM

  • Snooth User: vks
    98377 158

    I would recommend a nice La Clape wine for all Syrah lovers; Clos des Truffiers from Chateau de la Negly. In my opinion one of greatly overlooked wines in Languedoc. One of my favs.

    Mar 07, 2011 at 4:09 PM

  • Snooth User: erniex
    634476 60

    A true favorite region of mine. Especially CDP -though getting more expensive- is awesome stuff. Still in comparison to top end Bordeaux and Burgundy I would definitely call it value.

    Few personal favorites: Pegau, Usseglio, Barroche, Beaucastel, Julienne and Vieux Telegraphe. All with high priced special cuvees, but their "standard" bottlings are absolutely sufficient. Often even better actually.. Dont know US prices, but in Europe these are from 20-40€
    The Brunier brothers of Telegraphe also makes an outstanding Gigondas, Les Pallieres, that I cant recommend enough. Finally the entire St. Cosme programme.. Gigondas based but making some very attractive Cote du Rhone and super negociant wines from all over Rhone, both north and south.

    For southern Rhone stay off 2002 and be careful about 2008. Rest of the last 12 years vintages are all worthy of anyones cellar.. which again is a good thing for prices.
    CDP normally drinks well in its first 2-3 years, sleeps for 4-6 years thereafter to then enter a drinking window of 5 to 20 years. Really, if you like mature wines try a Beaucastel or Telegraphe with 15+ years of age from a decent vintage. Its then when you realize why you are into this stuff to begin with...

    Mar 07, 2011 at 11:13 PM

  • Snooth User: Mark Angelillo
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    2 5,324

    The few Gigondas wines I've had have really impressed me. I've found them to be difficult to find, but well worth the effort. Thanks for the recs, Greg.

    Mar 08, 2011 at 10:36 AM

  • Snooth User: itsoffal
    764024 2

    Such a disappointing piece on Southern France.
    You managed to forget
    2-The 13 or so appellations of the South-West
    ...3-and although you show a partial map of the Languedoc-Roussillon, no wines are even mentionned
    In regards to Bordeaux and Burgundy, these 2 regions do offer plenty of value wines.
    1-Bordeaux does offer plenty of wonderful wines for under $30.00
    2-Burgundy as well, with crus Beaujolais and great wines from either Cotes de Nuits or Beaune for under $40.00, which offer more elegance, length than overipe Syrah like Pinots of California, that retail for $50 and above.
    It also good to note that Bordeaux alone produces much more wine than California.

    Mar 08, 2011 at 8:52 PM

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