A Wine Lover's Weekly Review Of $10 Wines - A Merlot From Languedoc, France
Of course we have done lots of wines from the up-and-coming Languedoc region of southwestern France. But to the best of my knowledge, this is our first review covering a wine from the high-volume Barton and Guestier. This company date backs to 1725 when the Irishman Thomas Barton founded a wine shipping company in Bordeaux. He was Bordeaux's first shipper to own wine estates. B & G offers a wine school in an Eighteenth Century chateau (can you think of a better place to learn about fermenting grapes?) They do organic and all sorts of wine but this particular bottle is not described on their website. By the way, IGP is a low-level appellation. What did you expect for $10? The companion wine is a Kosher Israeli Merlot at half again the price.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
B & G Partager Reserve Merlot Indication Geographique Protegee 2010 13.5% alcohol about $10.
Let's start with the marketing materials. "Tasting Note : Dark ruby color; aromas of raspberry, currants, and a hint of herbs; dry with medium body. Serving Suggestion : Drink now with roasted red meats, vegetable ragout, or tourtiere." And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was mouth filling, with round tannins and good length. In the presence of Japanese rice crackers the drink sweetened. My first meal centered on barbecued chicken with a paprika-dusted skin. This libation was plummy with good acidity showing no difference when paired with the breast or the leg. The accompanying roasted eggplant salad (mayo, mayo, mayo) cut our French friend's acidity while keeping the fruit.
My next meal's focus was slow-cooked minute steak. Red was fairly long and plummy offering up some chocolate as well. The accompanying potatoes increased the drink's acidity, but the sweet potatoes thinned the wine. When I liberally spiced the meat with Louisiana hot sauce the liquid managed to envelop the meat.
The closing meal started with a delicious home-made appetizer of fried onions and Portabello mushrooms. The drink was thin at first and its tannins were gone. Then came a boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. The libation crept very much into the background. Dessert was fresh honeydew and in response my glass's contents were sweetly acidic but thin.
Final verdict. Languedoc, France offers many good wines for the price. This is not one of them.
About the Author
Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com .