French wine under $20

Wine Review: Chateau Raspail Gigondas 2007

The Blend:  60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre

Where from?: Southern Rhone, France

Price: $17 at Costco

I have recently become a big fan of GSM blends, so I just had to give this wine a whirl. I am typically a bit weary of some French wines because a lot tend to be a bit light to me (I’m a huge Napa Cab drinker). After verifying the blend of this wine, and seeing the alcohol content – I knew that would not be the case here.

The wine is very deep purple, almost black in the glass. Gobs of blackberry, with hints of raspberry amongst its dark fruit profile on the nose. Some good floral earth notes and red stone are intermingled in with the dominant dark fruit.

I decanted this bad boy just over 2 hours before my first taste and quickly learned that it needed far less time than that to open up. On the palate it exudes dark fruit highly dominated by dark cherries. Medium full-bodied with subtle earthiness and a hint of pepper. The sweet and meaty tannins are well-balanced with medium length to the finish.

Overall, this wine is a great value. It lacks just a tad in complexity and is a bit thin, but more than makes up for it in its’ overall balance and superb dark fruit. This wine could probably benefit from another year or so in the bottle, but I would not recommend aging for much longer than that, or long-term cellaring. Despite that, this is a fantastic drink now bottle out of France. I would personally rate this wine 91 points. It really is a steal under $20 bucks, and I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase again.

By Ryan O’Connor