Perfect Grilling Summer Syrah Blend. $22

Inky, refreshing Syrah blend full of berries and stones

As hot, dry summers become the norm across much of France, winemakers in the south in particular are constantly in search of freshness for their wines. Some have adjusted viticulture techniques, others have altered their blends to re-balance freshness.

At the Clos Bagatelle in Saint-Chinian, they’re certainly adapting too — but Mother Nature has given them a head start. Their terroirs are located high in the hills of the northern Languedoc, and their vines grow from unusually schist- and mineral-laden soils. As a result, their cuvées are rich and full, but never out of balance.

They also provide tremendous value — today’s St-Chinian is as impressive a sub-$25 red as we know.

Bagatelle’s “Au Fil de Soi” 2018 is a blend of 50% syrah, 30% grenache, and 10% each of mourvèdre and carignan. They’ve reduced the percentage of Grenache (a naturally high alcohol grape) in recent years to maintain balance. We continue to be amazed at Bagatelle’s ability to combine rich, mouthfilling, ripe fruit with delicate floral aromas and mineral tension.

This Syrah-heavy cuvée is simply delicious — far more wine than $22 usually buys you. The nose shows violets and anise, with blackberry fruit and thyme. The mouth bursts with blueberry pie and earth, cut by a crisp mineral line and supple tannins.

Upgrade your weeknight grilling game: open a Bagatelle and fire up these quick grilled pork chops, which take about as much time as a 3000m steeplechase.


Bagatelle St-Chinian “Fil de Soi” 2018
bottle price: $22

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