Half Dozen Red

La Chapelle, Domaine des Pothiers 2017 $20 (Loire Valley) Originating from a granite soil which is rich in magnesium, a biodynamic culture, and a ten-month aging process in truncated conical wood vats, this Gamay Saint-Romain expresses itself in a fruity, spicy and concentrated manner. Enjoy it with a fine cut of meat or a cheese with a distinctive flavor

Beaujolais, Paul Durdilly 2019 $16 (Beaujolais) Speaking of southern Beaujolais, the Durdilly family has been growing Gamay here for generations. Paul has been at the helm since the 70s and presides over a handful of older plots planted on the trademark limestone soils of the Pierres Dorees (the Golden Stones that we talked about with the Saint Cyr wines a little while back). This is Paul's entry level bottling and is a blend of 40-80 year old plots planted on high elevation steep slopes, none of which see chemicals. Fermentation is with native yeast, semi-carbonic, then aged in a combination of concrete and old foudre before getting bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur. This wine is a steal.

Vin de Savoie Pinot Noir, Jean Perrier et Fils 2018 $17 (Savoy) Moving due east from Pierres Dorees, back to the mountains of Savoy, Gilbert Perrier and his son are the fifth and sixth generation to work this land in the sleepy ski village of Apremont. This is Pinot Noir from a few different plots, non of which see chemicals, made all in steel. Fresh, high-toned crunchy red berries and mountain herbs for days. 

Mas Sauvaire, Domaine des Sauvaire 2017 $13 (Languedoc)

40% Carignan, 35% Grenache, 25% Syrah. Believe it or not, the Mas Sauvaire Rouge is Herve's “house” red. Herve poured me this at lunch one day, and it was light but deep, with gorgeous purity of earthy red fruit that was buttressed by some bright acidity and a shockingly long finish. This comes from some of his middle-aged vineyards on rocky clay soils, a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. When I asked what this was, he told me it was their house red that they only sold to family, friends and local establishments. Right there and then, I told him I wanted some, and the rest is history.

Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Chateau de Manissy 2018 $14 (Rhone) Just south of Vaucluse, outside of Chateauneuf du Pape, Florian Andre makes wines in an old monastery with the permission of the monks, where he farms the vines biodynamically and makes the wines completely naturally. This is a blend of Grenache, Cunoise and Carignan made all in concrete with native yeast and low sulfur. It's packed with spicy dark red fruit in a velvety full bodied frame. Serious bang for your buck on this one.

Cotes du Provence Rouge, Le Bernarde 2018 $18 (Provence) Finally, we move all the way south, just inland from the Mediterranean coast in the hills between Cannes and Marseille, in the village of Luc where vineyards are planted on clay and rocky limestone about a thousand feet above sea level. This is a blend of 70% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Grenache, all from organic vineyards, hand harvested and fermented and aged all in concrete. Full bodied with deep dark fruit and spiced earthy notes.