We’ve noted before that one of the best importers of such wines is local, Fran Kysela of Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd out of Winchester, VA, whose wines are sprinkled all over our Top 5 Value Wines lists. A perennial favorite among our Top 5 French Red Wine Values is a Kysela wine from the Castelmaure cooperative in Corbières, a district within the larger Languedoc region that produces an ocean of both red and white wine values. Both the $9 Castelmaure Col des Vents Corbières, and its richer, pricier big brother Castelmaure Grand Cuvèe at $15 a bottle, are great values.
We tasted (and bought) an even pricier Castelmaure bottle, the 2008 Pompadour, for $17 at The Bottle Shop in Rockville last week that underscored out enthusiasm both for the Castelmaure co-op and the wines of Corbières. The region was only granted status as its own distinct winemaking district – known as an AOC, short for “appellation d'origine controlee” under French wine regulations – in 1985.