Looking for some nice bang for your buck when you hit the wine store? Who isn’t? Check out wines from the Languedoc, the Mediterranean-influenced wine region that cuts a wide swath through the southeast corner of France. Long known for its quality value wines, it includes Minervois, where Carignan, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache are used to make supple red blends; Limoux, where the cooler, Atlantic-influenced climate lends itself to the production of white sparkling wines; and Corbières, whose dense, ripe reds have garnered fans worldwide. Here are a few widely available Languedoc wines to sample your way through the region without breaking the bank.
Gérard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux Brut, 2010; $14.99
Mostly Chardonnay, with a little Chenin Blanc and a touch of Mauzac, this sparkler exudes a lemon/lime aroma with underlying minerality. With bright acidity and nice bread dough notes, it’s light, crisp and refreshing.
Cave les Costieres de Pomerols Picpoul de Pinet HB, 2011 (Coteaux du Languedoc); $9.99
A white wine with a bright aroma of minerals, hay, light citrus and melon hints, it’s crisp and clean with racy acidity, substantial mineral backbone and a vibrant finish.
Hecht & Bannier Rosé, 2011 (Languedoc); $10.99
Lively and perky, this rosé has a cherry and wild raspberry aroma with spicy overtones, fresh red berry flavor, and an undercurrent of vanilla.
Col de Vents Corbières, 2008; $9.99
Brambly and woodsy with an earthy black fruit aroma, this well-priced gem has medium body, good balance and loads of ripe black raspberry flavor.
Gérard Bertrand Syrah/Carignan, 2008 (Minervois); $14.99
Full bodied and well balanced, this juicy, substantial red blend is rife with peppery ripe black fruit essence.