General Question

marcosthecuban's avatar

If i have $100 to spend on french red wine, what's the best?

Asked by marcosthecuban (429points) May 30th, 2009

i like cabs and pinot noirs and french wine- as in from france! but i can’t seem to remember the names of what i’ve liked in the past.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

gooch's avatar

Buy three $30 bottles of Franciscan Magnificat from California and you will be happy.

bythebay's avatar

Cakebread, 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon, Three Sisters, Napa Valley (not french, but yummy)

Faiveley Latricières-Chambertin 2004

Domaine de la Janasse Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2004

Tardieu-Laurent Hermitage 2003 / Syrah

mcbealer's avatar

can’t wait for @Breedmitch to see this question

I’m curious to see the recommendations also… Oh and ever watch the movie Sideways?

breedmitch's avatar

How did I miss this question? Why didn’t I see it in my Q for you?

Let’s start with French Pinot Noir, the grape associated with Burgundy. If you’re buying in a store for $100 you should be able to get a Cote de Nuit (northern Burgundy) Grand Cru. Some village names to remember are Gevery Chambertin, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanee, and Nuit St. George. These are going to be richer (for Pinot) than the reds of Cote de Beaune (southern Burgundy). Village names to remember here include Pommard, Volnay, and Aloxe-Corton.

By “Cab” I’m assuming you mean Cabernet Sauvignon? Well now we’re talking about Bordeaux and specifically the Left Bank (as a rule left bank Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon dominant and right bank Bordeaux are merlot dominant—the exception being Chateau Petrus which is located on the left bank and is always 100% Merlot—but $100 isn’t going to buy you any Petrus, anyway)
Just know that any just about Bordeaux you buy is going to be a blend of varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot. (There are 14 Varietals permitted under AC regulations but these are the big 5)
Key districts here to remember include Medoc, Graves, Saint-Estephe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Margaux, and Pessac-Leognan.

Most importantly, and I can not stress this enough, find a wine retailer you trust.

Now comes the question of vintage. There are very few hard and fast rules about which years were better vintages but in general 1989, 1990, 2000, and 2005 can be counted on for both Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Happy Drinking.

bythebay's avatar

<—going to the store tomorrow armed with all of @breedmitch ‘s expert advice!! :)

breedmitch's avatar

@bythebay: These recommendations were specifically for French wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir in the higher price range.
Delicious wine can be found at any price range if you know where to look.

Now then, what types of wine (or specifically what flavors) are you looking for?
I’d hate for you to think you had to spend $90 on an ‘05 Bordeaux, only to find you don’t like rich, tannic, structured red wines.

bythebay's avatar

We love smooth Cabs; the last bottle my husband loved was a BV Private Reserve (I think). He also had a Silverado that he liked. I actually prefer white, a pinot grigio or even a Riesling. Thank you for your advice!!

breedmitch's avatar

For hubby: By all means, he should follow my Bordeaux advice. The Silverado is a right bank, Bordeaux-style blend. (The ‘04 is a particularly nice vintage.)

For you: Perhaps try some Oregon Pinot Gris. Most people like Rieslings for the sweetness (or residual sugar) but I prefer a lovely Alsatian Riesling with its dry, clean fruit, and notes of petrol.

No, let’s start over for you.
What flavors in white? (pick one from each line):
Tree Fruit (apple/pear) or Citrus Fruit (lemon/grapefruit) or Stone Fruits (peach/apricot)

Sweet or Dry

Juicy Fruit or Crisp Minerality

Smooth and Lush or Tart and Acidic

bythebay's avatar

Thank you again, kind sir!! Cheers!

corkdork's avatar

@breedmitch: Petrusis located in Pomerol, on the right bank—it’s just northwest of St Emilion. It is, however, a Merlot-lover’s dream :)

@marcosthecuban, I’d recommend following Breedmitch’s advice—just remember, left-bank Bordeaux and red Burgundies. For $100 a bottle, you can get grand or premier cru (top-flight wine) from Burgundy, and you should be able to get wine from a classified chateau in a good year (look for 2000, 2003, and 2005 for wine to store for a couple of years—~10 from the vintage. I like 2006’s for drinking now—yeah, they’re young, deal—and ditto 2004’s.)

breedmitch's avatar

@corkdork: So it is. Thanks for the clarification.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Why stick with French wine? The Paris Wine Competition of 1976 proved that California wines could beat the very best in France at a small fraction of the price and the world of wine has never been the same since. In subsequent blind competitions wines from other countries have also beat the French. Therefore, there’s no reason to pay outrageous prices because of decades-old prejudices that have since been shattered.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther