15% Off Provence & Languedoc-Roussillon (3/6/12)

When most people imagine the south of France, they picture movie stars at Cannes, the landscapes of Van Gogh, and jet-setters on the beaches of the Riviera.

Not us, however. All week long, we’ve been daydreaming about soil pH levels and vine trellising systems in preparation for today’s sale: the wines of Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon are just that good.

Nothing captures a wine drinker’s imagination like an underrated (read: underpriced) wine region! Today we’re taking 15% off all wines from Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon – go straight to the sale now  or read on for some background.

The south-facing vineyards of Provence are on some of the best vine-growing territory in the world, with a perfect Mediterranean climate tempered by the cooling effects of the sea. The region produces a broad range of wines, most which pair seamlessly with Provence’s light, herb-infused cuisine.

Bandol, arguably the most significant appellation in Provence, produces spicy, earthy, rich red wines. They tend to be big and well-structured, relying on the Mourvèdre grape for their power. Vines in Bandol are grown in very meager soils of gravel, clay, and limestone; this, combined with the hot, dry, coastal climate, gives the thick-skinned berries exactly what they need in order to thrive.

Wines from Côtes de Provence, which can be red, white or (most commonly) rosé, are the Provençal wines that are easiest to find in the U.S. Fresh, fruity rosés make up about 80% of the region’s production, and are usually blends of Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah.

Minervois, an appellation in the Languedoc region, produces red and white wines of exceptional quality. The reds (labeled Minervois) tend to be rich and highly extracted blends, aged in neutral vessels or large oak barrels that allow the fruit to take center stage. The white wines of Minervois (labeled Minervois Blanc) are usually blends as well, and seem to improve with every new vintage.

These wines are all enjoyed throughout the French Riviera by those jet-setters we haven’t been thinking about. One sip will transport you there: order today and “travel” for 15% off!


Staff Pick: Carignan, Poudou – 2010

Carignan, Poudou - 2010

Poudou Carignan is a dark fruited wine as wholesome and enticing as a baked cherry pie. It has effortlessly wiggled its way into my winter week night wine radar. Warm, round, black cherry fruits and earthy tannins are all telling of the warm, dusty landscape of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France it calls home. It is slightly musky on the nose and finishes with herbs, leather, and a distinctive minerality. This wine is admittedly unusual: the Carignan grape is most commonly used as a blending grape but really shines on its own in this bottling. Makes a perfect pair for pepperoni pizza, but is certainly serious enough for grilled lamb or duck breast. Don’t be afraid to let this wine breathe. It will evolve wonderfully in an open bottle and even better in a wine glass.