Low-cost, high value French white and Argentinian Red

17 May

Two recents finds from a wine store I’ve not patronized for a while. Both are new to me and looked intriguing.

2010 Loin de l’Oeil Sur Lie Vin du Pays des Cotes du Tarn “Les Rials”

“What the heck is Loin de l’Oeil?” You think? Exactly. It’s a gallic (French) country grape…”wait a minute, of COURSE it’s country, who makes wine in a city?” I know…don’t worry, it’s a blending grape with tendencies towards sweet, green fruit. Loin de l’Oeil, translates to ‘far from the eye’ which refers to its long stems. Don’t believe me? Check these out for more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_de_l’El

http://www.lescaves.co.uk/wine/grape_variety/loin_de_loeil

At the end of the day, we’re basically looking at a white wine blend, which is LIKELY to be predominantly  sauv blanc, but with a slightly sweeter edge.

Color of light straw, nose is predominantly lemon with some bosc pear & fresh cut hay. Flavor is a green apple, pear and a hint of citrus with lingering tart finish.

Ideal for an apertif; you could easily enjoy this by itself, with a meal, or after dinner. Complements wheat, rich cheese, or tart cornichons easily.

Found this locally in one of my moderately priced wine stores at $9/bottle. I would pick up a case of this if I had more room to cave, but deliciously inexpensive whites can be easy to come by if you know what to look for. Hint, look for others like this- flexible, easy to pair, crowd pleasers.  🙂 Haven’t seen this before but will keep an eye out in the future. In looking for more information on it, I saw several very pleasing reviews, one of which called it “a summer favorite 5 ears running”. At this price, I can see why.

2010 Cigar Box Malbec, Mendoza

From Argentina comes the second wine, and it’s one of my favorite bang-for-the-buck choices: malbec!  This one is interesting, it’s magenta to ruby in color, the nose is red plum with graphite and a little road tar. Jammy on the front palate with red fruit, it finished quickly with more of the tar, but I didn’t sense the cigar box it was named for. If there’s cedar, it’s masked by something darker (maybe that’s exactly what they mean) but as someone who has had a few stogies, I’m not sold on the name fitting. Not a refined malbec but good for summer grilling and full of bold flavor. This was $13/bottle at my mid-priced neighborhood wine store but I saw it online for as low as $9/bottle. Still a good value if it pairs well with your food and you like a bold red, this one fits the bill. It’s a perfect man-cave choice. 

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