Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2007 Comptoirs de Magdala “Escapade” Côtes de Provence France

2007 Comptoirs de Magdala “Escapade” Côtes de Provence France
Suggested retail price $15-$19

When Donald, one of the rep. of Jenny and Francois Selections and also a close friend of mine, came with this bottle of wine, I thought at first that he was bringing again one of this hard to sell, esoteric, earthy, organic wine from an obscure region. For once and on the contrary, he brought me this excellent bottle of Côtes de Provence that I immediately liked and enjoyed.

Let me put you in the context of the situation. Jenny and Francois Selections is a notorious tiny distributor of small, often obscure artisan organic and biodynamic wines that are usually not your everyday friendly wine and definitely not crowd pleasers. But I was ready to try his wines and was doing it probably more for our friendship sake than by my own will.

I tasted about 7-8 wines and I really enjoyed 3 of them: an earthy Pic St-Loup red (Languedoc), a Gaillac (Southwest of France) and this delightful Côtes de Provence.

Made by Antoine Pouponneau who also makes wine at “Tour du Bon” in Bandol, this is a gorgeous, medium to full-bodied wine, perfect for a late spring-summer afternoon with finger foods. A blend of Carignan, Mourvedre and Grenache, this Cotes de Provence is characterized by bright red fruit and balanced acidity.

I do not much info on the wine itself but I can say that it is a great expression of the terroir from where it comes from: Provence. Located down the south-east of France, south of the Rhone Valley, Provence is well known for its juicy and refreshing rosés and its world famous aperitif anisé: Pernod-Ricard. The sky is blue, the wind is strong and constantly blowing, the Mediterranean Sea is warm and inviting, the soil is harsh and dry, the lavender bushes cover most of the hills rolling down to the sea when they are not covered by vines, and it is a perfect place to make strong, flavorful wines.

Tasting notes: The nose offers notes of purple flowers, mixed of wild red and dark berries, earthy hints of garrigues and trace of lavender and spice. The palate boasts rich and ripe yet fresh blueberry and blackberry flavors intermingled with floral touch and more pronounce earthy garrigues notes in the finish. The wine is strong and fruity with high alcohol but very well integrated. Well rounded, it will please BBQ grilled meat eaters.


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