Although the ever-rising prices of Burgundy and Bordeaux may give the illusion that all French wines are expensive, according to Wine Authorities co-owner Craig Heffley, France is still a great place to find good, affordable wine. Here are two examples, plus a pick from Chile.
1 2005 Domaine Gouron Chinon ($15)
Wine Authorities’ first exclusive offering. Brothers Laurent and Stephane Gouron craft this soft, sage-scented Chinon (made from the Cabernet Franc grape) at the Loire Valley winery founded by their grandfather in 1946. The warm 2005 season made this wine especially lush.
2 2006 Domaine Labranche Laffont Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Sec ($15)
Winemaker Christine Dupuy’s zippy white, with enticing notes of Meyer lemon, is a blend of three obscure grapes: Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng and Arrufiac. They grow on a single hectare of vineyards in southwestern France.
3 2007 Tres Palacios Reserva Chardonnay ($10)
Loaded with tropical fruit flavors like banana, coconut and mango, but also possessed of great acidity, this unoaked white from Chile’s Maipo Valley is a standout from a region better known for heavily oaked Chardonnays created to please international tastes.