Montreal Gazette - - WEEKENED LIFE -

UN­DER $15 Ven­toux 2017, La Vieille Ferme, France red, $13, SAQ # 263640.

I was sur­prised how much I liked the most re­cent vin­tage. Fresh and juicy, with that typ­i­cal Ven­toux sweet fruit, although the wine is com­pletely dry. Fi­nessed tan­nin and flo­rals. This is al­most more Provence than Rhône. Good deal as well. Resid­ual sugar: 2.3 g/L. Grape va­ri­eties: gre­nache, syrah, mourvè­dre.

Serve at: 16 C.

Drink now.

Food pair­ing idea: chicken or pork bro­chettes.

$15-$20 Luberon 2017, Grand Mar­renon, Cel­lier de Mar­renon, France white, $19.05, SAQ # 13466512.

Re­ally in­ter­est­ing wine. The three grapes are vini­fied to­gether, and de­spite the fact that half the lot is bar­rel fer­mented, you hardly feel the wood. It just gives the wine ex­tra round­ness. Then the fin­ish, min­eral and chalky. Fruit is cool as well — al­most a ju­jube apri­cot.

Resid­ual sugar: 2.1 g/L. Grape va­ri­eties: gre­nache blanc, ver­mentino, rous­sanne. Serve at: 8-10 C.

Drink now-2021.

Food pair­ing idea: white fish or grilled shrimp with apri­cot salsa.

$20-$25 Costières de Nîmes 2015, Nostre Païs, Michel Gassier, France red, $23.85, SAQ # 12854097. Or­ganic.

This is bril­liant and gor­geous. Very juicy and fresh, silky, flo­ral, spicy. Length is ad­mirable, with the fruit turn­ing to the min­eral, leav­ing your mouth fresh. One of those wines you don’t tire of swirling around in your glass. Resid­ual sugar: 1.8 g/L. Grape va­ri­eties: gre­nache, carig­nan, syrah, mourvè­dre. Serve at: 18 C.

Drink now-2022.

Food pair­ing idea: chicken fa­ji­tas or que­sadil­las.

$25 AND UP Vac­queyras 2015, Do­maine des Genêts, De­las, France red, $27.85, SAQ # 11194066.

Clas­sic De­las-styled wine, with its ripe, dark fruit and plush tex­ture. Un­der the rich­ness, the acid­ity and min­eral com­po­nent keep it fresh. Not for those who want their reds lean and mean; rather, this is like a pil­low for your mouth. A nice bridge wine into the south­ern Rhône for you New World wine lovers. Resid­ual sugar: n/a.

Grape va­ri­eties: syrah, gre­nache, mourvè­dre.

Serve at: 18 C.

Drink now-2020.

Food pair­ing idea: chicken fa­ji­tas or que­sadil­las.

Every week, Bill Zacharkiw iden­ti­fies his top wine picks avail­able at the SAQ and of­fers ideas for food pair­ings.

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