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Jean-Luc Thunevin’s garagiste Bordeaux cult wine, Château de Valandraud, sells for roughly $250 a bottle. His Calvet-Thunevin Cuvée Constance, a joint venture from southern France’s Roussillon region with winemaker Jean-Roger Calvet that’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignane, goes for a mere 17th of that price, but it’s packed with peppery black raspberry flavor.
2003 Edmunds St. John Rocks and Gravel ($18)
Maverick California winemaker Steve Edmunds is currently more famous among his peers than with the public, but wines like this one ought to change that. Made from roughly equal parts Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre, this savory red, with its smoked-meat scent and bright berry fruit, recalls southern France as much as it does California.
2005 Slipstream Shiraz-Grenache ($18)
The Shiraz in this luscious, black cherry-rich red comes from a property in Australia’s McLaren Vale that’s owned by Australian-wine importer Benjamin Hammerschlag; the Grenache comes from a separate plot of 70-year-old vines; and the winemaking duties are shared between a trio of top Australian winemakers, Ben Riggs, Reid Bosward and Stephen Pannell.
2003 Château Mont-Pérat ($20)
The Premières Côtes de Bordeaux region primarily produces generic reds, but the Despagne family (which owns five estates between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, including its neo-cult Merlot-based Girolate) defies expectations: This cedary, elegant Bordeaux could pass for a much more expensive wine.
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