As of 1 pm, this LivingSocial deal was nearly sold out, though it’s scheduled to last for another 16 hours. For fans of French wines – especially rich Languedoc and Rhône Valley reds like we’ve been plugging in recent weeks and elegant chardonnay from Burgundy – this half-price deal (albeit with the $130 retail price slightly inflated) is a steal. And it’s worth taking a look before it’s gone.
The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker, who recommended it in the February 2009 issue, described it as “revealing more concentration as well as additional notes of kirsch and pepper, and a broader, plusher mouthfeel” than the 2006 Cotes du Rhone Les Quatres Terres, which we wrote, “exhibits more earth, spice, and garrigue notes, but not the lavish fruit found in the 2007.” He calls Les Quatres Terres, however, “one of the best buys in Cotes du Rhone.”
The 2006 Mas de Guiot Syrah "Numa" this is the big brother of the Mas de Guiot Vin de Pays du Gard recently named to the Wine for the Rest of Us “Top 5 French red wine values.” Made of 100 percent syrah and aged in oak barrels, it’s the top bottling from the Mas de Guiot estate, according to Bernstein, “and is a very serious wine that actually could benefit from even a bit more time in bottle.”
Another Languedoc wine from the sub-region of Corbières – very similar to the Castelmaure Col des Vents Corbières we recommended just a few weeks ago – is the 2008 Sainte Eugenie Corbières, from the same importer as Mad de Guiot (Robert Kacher Selections) and “a super producer,” Bernstein says.
The wine was a finalist for the WftRoU Top 5 French red wine values list, but it only missed the cut because it’s a relatively newer import that doesn’t have the track record of five consecutive years of solid reviews from the critics. But if you liked the Col des Vents, you’re likely to like the Sainte Eugenie.
Those three wines were enough for us to order the six-pack. But it also comes with a red Bordeaux from a well regarded “petit château” – the term for Bordeaux estates that aren’t included in the official hierarchical classification – from the acclaimed 2009 vintage. Château Demoiselle de By 2009 is the “second wine” of Chateau Rollan de By and a blend of 60 percent merlot and the rest cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot.
The whites are both French Burgundys from the districts of Macon and Chablis, respectively, which promise to be at least as good as the grocery-store French chardonnays we recommended last fall (like this $12 Macon-Lugny, this $11 Macon-Villages and this $10 Macon-Lugny).
The 2010 Roger Lassarat Pouilly Fuisse is from “one of the best growers in the Macon,” noted Bernstien. “We've been selling these wines for a few years now and they have a large following here in the store.” And the 2010 Chaude Ecuelle Chablis is from “a superb Chablis vintage, and Ecuelle is an excellent small producer,” he added.
We’re not often tempted by Groupons or similar daily deals from wine shops, since we like to pick out our own wine. Most wine-shop daily deals are for a specific group of wines we’ve never heard of, and/or we can find little supporting evidence that they are worth the money. But most of these are from regions and producers that we know and trust, plus MacArthur Beverage (Bassin’s to the long-time Washingtonians) is one of the most trust-worthy wine merchants in a city of many fine wine shops.
This is one deal that’s worth snagging while you still can.
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