The festive celebrations will have been the chance for you to bring out your best bottles to enjoy with family and friends. And the golden rule for keeping a cellar is to never let it empty. Here is our little Tour de France, uncovering some little gems that don’t cost more than €20.
Often seen as mere ‘apéritif wines’, cuvées from the Beaujolais region don’t always get the best reputation. Today, there are several brave winemakers, respectful of their terroirs, who aim to break these stereotypes. Let’s begin with Jean Foillard, an organic and un-interventionist winemaker who presents a flavourful and nicely supple Morgon at €15. In a completely different style, Georges Descombes, another emblem of the region’s organic and natural viticulture, has himself created a powerful Morgon (€19) that will greatly reward being aged for some years in your cellar.
Named 2019’s winemaker of the year by RVF, and a true figurehead for the Rully appellation, Vincent Dureuil-Janthal impresses with the precision of his wines. With buttery notes characteristic of the region’s Chardonnay, his white Burgundy (€19) is a great success – not one to miss! Whilst his wines are more affordable now, there’s no doubt that these prices will climb in years to come, so make the most of this while you still can!
When they aren’t too severely affected by hail and frost, winemakers of the Loire succeed in making fine wines. Let’s take for example Philippe Alliet, icon of the Chinon appellation who makes Cabernets Francs with the perfect balance of tannins and freshness. His L’Huisserie cuvée (€18) is a perfect example.
Looking for bubbles? Let yourself be tempted by Jacky Blot’s Brut Tradition cuvée at €14. An unparalleled winemaker, he turns all he touches into gold. And this bottle is no exception. Made following a traditional method, it is crisp, lively and possesses great finesse.
A new Eldorado for wine-enthusiasts all over, the Côtes-du-Rhône region is bursting with big, prestigious names that furnish our site’s auctions every month. Among them is a young winemaker into biodynamic viticulture who manages 4.5 hectares of Côte-Rôties land: Jean-Michel Stephan. Whilst his finest cuvées are practically untouchable, we suggest his Syrah (the region’s emblematic grape variety) at €19, which will give you a flavour of his talent. And unlike it’s ‘big sisters’ from the Côte-Rôtie, this one can be savoured in its youth.
A few kilometres to the south, more precisely in Saint-Joseph, the star of Pierre Gaillard’s wine is still the same iconic Syrah, but this time in a totally different style. Especially powerful in its youth, it is best to practice a bit of patience before it can be appreciated to the full.
Thanks to the more temperate climate, the Languedoc-Roussillon region welcomes more and more biodynamic winemakers every year. Among them is Olivier Pithon. A young winemaker from the Loire, he creates cuvées that are as expressive as they are original. So if you are a lover of natural wines or new discoveries, this is one for you. His blend of Syrah and Grenache, named Pithon 357 (€11) will certainly make an impression.
In a much more classic but equally accomplished style, the Rectorie domain in Collioure is one to try! His Coté mer cuvée (€14) made of Syrah, Grenache and a dash of Carignan, possesses all the richness of a perfectly balanced southern wine with notes of blackberry and cherry.
With the sun shining down on it throughout the year, Cahors has long produced overly powerful wines with harsh tannins. Château du Cèdre is now part of the appellation’s renewal thanks to its supple and elegant wines. There’s no need to wait to try their Extra Libre cuvée (€15), vinified without sulphur.
Are you a fan of powerful wines, or maybe you’re looking for a bottle to serve alongside a dish of red meat? Le Clos Triguedina (€17.90) is made for you! A well-made, classic Malbec with beautiful notes of dark fruits.