I've been wading through an ocean of affordable wine for our April issue, and while I'm reserving a good chunk of the best wines for the magazine itself, here are a few that I thought deserved mention now.
2007 Domaine Lafage Côté Est ($11, find this wine or its importer) When I was at the Wine Market Council meeting I blogged about recently, some of the Nielsen statistics showed that a large majority of American wine buyers tend to think of French wines as terrible values. Everyone should recalibrate by running out and buying this wine. Lightly spicy, with a kind of fresh talcum/floral character on the nose, it's loaded with rich apple/stone fruit flavor, completely luscious but not heavy at all, and ends on peppery herb notes. From the Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes, it's 60% Grenache Blanc & Gris, 30% Chardonnay, and 10% Marsanne, aged in stainless steel.