When I was asked to pick out the four best "cottage" wines -- inexpensive, chillable wines built for enjoyment with food and on a shoestring budget -- I put together a basket of these four. It turned out that they were the wines with the most colourful labels you could possibly assemble while browsing the aisles at my wine shop.
I promise you I didn't buy these wines because of their labels, but clearly people do. The people I shopped for said that each on went down beautifully. But did they do it blind? Could they have been swayed by the pretty labels set out before them? Though we are in the middle of Wine Label Week here at Doktor Weingolb I am sorry to say that we may never know.
What we do know is that this sunny foursome of a flight started off with what must be the value wine of the summer: the Brumont Gros Manseng/Sauvignon Vin de Pays des Côtes du Gascogne 2006 -- it's the green one at the left.
It's anything but green. A nose of lemon meringue pie; a palate of grass and citrus that is pulled down by une trame de gras, or a perceptible layer of fattiness, without coming off at all oily. This wine has admirable balance, and in between, presents nice acid and weight with that smidgen of fat and sweetness on the finish.
I think this wine lacks minerality, though many people have called it mineral. Not in my books. But in my books, there's nothing wrong with not being mineral. So this wine is a bit of a cream puff, at its core I get a strong musky confit which punctuates the wine but doesn't diminish its soft, gentle and somewhat subtle elegance. Simply astounding for what was the cheapest wine of the bunch!
Pair it with a buttery or rich breaded chicken dish supported by greens or garden fare. Or have it as the best aperitif you can buy with a dozen dollars and change.
But you don't have to take my word on it.
THIS SUMMER, PEOPLE WHO LOVED A COLOURFUL GREEN LABEL
- Joe does
- The Georgia Strait does
- A BC blogger does
- Vin Québec aussi!
- Somebody writing in Oregon
- and Gang of Pour too
There are no doubt other favourable reviews I encountered during the summer for this Brumont, a wine that is better than ever (and which just HAPPENS to have a newly designed label this year... yes, it is a coincidence -- there's no established link between pretty labels and good wine.)
Click on the other cottage wine bottles across the top of the page for reviews of previously released vintages. Each of them in their latest version is delicious (except for the Syrah rosé which I have never tasted and cannot not really vouch for other than to say that it sports the reliability and great pricepoint often wielded by wines bearing the Fortant name -- now that's how to read a label! The Fortant label alone is why I bought it for my cottage-bound friends.