For the careful shopper, the Languedoc can be an abundant resource. Long deserving its reputation for mediocrity, the region has only recently become a source of value. There’s still plenty of bad wine made in the vast region, but if you make good choices, $16 will take you farther here than just about anywhere else.
The region’s best bargain may come from the Clos Bagatelle. This centuries-old domaine hails from the ancient town of St. Chinian, set high in the rock-strewn hills of the central Languedoc. Bagatelle grows syrah, carignan, and cinsault in a rocky schist soil that provides balance and minerality.
Bagatelle’s Cuvée Tradition 2016 is full of cool, stony fruit – there’s a dark berry freshness and lack of heat that’s hard to come by in much of the Languedoc. The palate offers fruit compote, meatiness, and hints of tobacco, but without high alcohol or palate-tiring heaviness.
This is a well-priced, crowd pleasing red — it’s the house red for several of our friends. As the weather cools, this is a perfect everyday red to have around to match with autumn dishes. Pair with steak and other burgers from the grill, or a weeknight stew.
Bagatelle Tradition 2017
bottle price: $16
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