Is your cellar looking as bare as your wallet? Let’s take a tour of the treasures found in France for less than €30. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, the Loire…all of the best regions have shown up to offer their rising stars.
Even with such an unusual end to the year, we’re sure you had a chance to uncork some fine bottles with smaller groups of friends and family. As you know, though, a golden rule of keeping a good cellar is to never let it get empty! So, in case your bank account is in need of a little break, too, we’ve put together a selection of affordable wines to brighten things up without splashing out.
This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Bordeaux’s Château Belle-Vue, one of our favourites at iDealwine, this Haut-Médoc estate is always a safe bet. Wines from here are available in their 2015 and 2018 vintages, both for the domain’s classic cuvée and the single-varietal Petit Verdot, a speciality lauded by some of the greatest tasters, including the Revue du vin de France committee.
Château Croix Mouton also figures among our discoveries from the right bank. A partner domain located in Lugon, the estate spans 70 hectares of terroir rich in clay and limestone. The vast majority of grapes grown are the Merlot varietal, and the vines have an average age of 38. The Bordeaux cuvées produced by Croix Mouton are pleasant and fruity, to be enjoyed in their youth. They are available in their 2016 and 2018 vintages.
From Burgundy, Vincent Dureuil-Janthial was named wine producer of the year by the RVF, and he spearheads the Rully appellation. The precision of these wines is impressive, and these are still affordable. Get your hands on a red or white Rully from 2017 or 2018! And if you’d like to try a 2018 Chablis, we recommend those from Domaine Billaud-Simon, a real specialist in the matter.
The Beaujolais region is bursting with innovative producers who work with great respect for their terroir, as is the case for Jean Foillard. Using organic and low-intervention methods, he crafts a flavourful Morgon with great suppleness. In a totally different style, Georges Descombes, another organic and natural figure in the region, makes a precise Chiroubles that will pair well with regionally inspired cooking.
The Côtes-du-Rhône is a region with prestigious names that attract wine lovers from far and wide for our sales. Among them is a biodynamic producer who cultivates 4.5 hectares of vines in the Côte-Rôtie appellation: Jean-Michel Stephan. Here we have his vin de France Syrah cuvée, a wine that will give you a good idea of his talent. Unlike many of the wines from the region, this is a bottle that can be uncorked in its youth! Just a few kilometres to the south, in Saint-Joseph, we find Pierre Gaillard. Syrah is still the star here, though this time in quite a different style. Powerful early on, this wine deserves to be aged for a little while in order to reveal its best features.
In the Loire valley, Domaine Arnauld Lambert crafts delightful Saumur, Saumur-Champigny, and crémants de Loire. A real rising star whose prices are still very pleasing! In the same appellation we find Domaine Antoine Sanzay, who makes natural reds that we consider must-try cuvées.
As for Alsace, some of the finest domains make wines that serve as an introduction to their superb work. The 2018 Alsace from Domaine Marcel Deiss, the 2019 Riesling reserve from Domaine Trimbach, and three cuvées from the little, organic domain Agathe Bursin are all excellent bottles for discovering some of the region’s best reputed names.